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
88: John Fitzgerald, TE (Sr.) — Richmond
Fitzgerald spent the first four years of his college football career at Cornell. A couple of injuries resulted in just 22 games played as he totaled 32 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown.
His best year was his senior season in 2019. Named an All-Ivy League honorable mention, he hauled in 20 catches for 226 yards.
Fitzgerald grad transferred to Richmond and immediately made an impact during the spring season. The Spiders played just four games, and Fitzgerald started all of them while catching 14 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown.
His 14 receptions were the most by a CAA tight end. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder earned All-CAA First Team honors.
Due to those injuries and the 2020-21 free year of eligibility, Fitzgerald will be back this fall. With quarterback Joe Mancuso, who threw for over 2,000 yards in a full 2019 season, also returning, Fitzgerald is set for a big 2021 campaign.
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.