Welcome to the 2021 FCS Jersey Countdown.
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
64: P.J. Burkhalter, OL (Sr.) — Nicholls
Nicholls had a tremendous rushing attack in the spring, finishing third in the FCS with 263.4 rushing yards per game behind the option offenses of Davidson (280 YPG) and Kennesaw State (268 YPG). That success starts with the big fellas, and Burkhalter is the second Nicholls offensive lineman to be honored on this countdown with Evan Roussel getting the nod at No. 71.
Burkhalter is going into his fifth season as a starter, thanks to an extra year of eligibility.
He has loaded up on postseason awards in the last two seasons. In 2019 and the spring of 2021, Burkhalter was a 10-time All-American and two-time Southland Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year. His first honor came in 2018 with an All-Southland Honorable Mention nod.
The 6-foot-3, 330-pound guard is a massive part of an offense that will be among the most explosive in the FCS this fall. The Colonels owned the highest-scoring offense in the FCS during the spring, averaging 48.7 points per game (Montana scored 53.5, but elected to opt out of the championship portion of the season and played just two games, one being against a D2 team).
Nicholls has all of its top offensive players coming back, including physical running back Julien Gums, pro prospect wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon, and electric dual-threat quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr.