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.
13: Kordell Jackson, DB (Sr.) — Austin Peay
Jackson is an absolute stud and a game-changer from his nickelback position.
A four-year starter dating back to his true freshman season in 2017, Jackson has 176 career tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 31 passes defended, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He isn’t afraid to stick his nose in the run game and always seems to get his hands on passes … that is when teams throw his way.
His junior year in 2019 saw Jackson really jump onto the national scene. A six-time First Team All-American, Jackson tallied 47 tackles, eight TFLs, two sacks, 10 passes defended, and seven interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns.
He was a consensus All-American again in 2020-21. In nine games, Jackson had 55 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, one interception, and six passes defended.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder will add to an incredibly long list of accolades in his fifth season at Austin Peay. In the preseason, he has already earned OVC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors, was named a preseason All-American by HERO Sports and Stats Perform, and is ranked the No. 3 returning defensive back in the FCS.
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.