Leading up to Week 0 games on Aug. 28, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-0. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2020 fall-2021 spring season.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2020 fall-2021 spring rosters
93: Jermaine McDaniel, DL (Sr.) — North Carolina A&T
As a program that takes pride in owning a tough, physical defense, the Aggies loaded up even more in 2019 by adding an elite pass-rushing talent in McDaniel.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Appalachian State transfer led the team in sacks and tackles for loss while helping NC A&T win another Celebration Bowl as he posted five tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and 1.5 sacks against Alcorn State. The Aggies finished 2019 allowing 20.8 points per game and just 79.9 rushing yards a game.
A three-star prospect out of high school with 16 Division I offers (five FBS), McDaniel’s talent shined as he totaled 40 tackles, 12 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, and five quarterback hurries. He earned All-MEAC Second Team honors.
Before the 2020 fall season got postponed, HERO Sports named McDaniel a preseason First Team All-American. NC A&T opted out of the spring season, which was its last in the MEAC. The Aggies make their Big South debut this fall.
Sam’s coverage of the FCS began in 2012 as the sports editor and eventual editor-in-chief of NDSU’s The Spectrum. After graduating in 2015, he spent three years in the newspaper and magazine industry while starting his work for HERO Sports in the fall of 2016 as a freelancer. In May 2018, he joined the website full time as the Senior FCS Analyst.