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
80: Tanner Conner, WR (Sr.) — Idaho State
Conner is one of the more gifted athletes in the FCS. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder is an All-Big Sky wide receiver, sprinter, and hurdler.
In the spring football season, Conner caught 34 passes for 685 yards and three touchdowns in six games to earn All-Conference First Team honors. This came after a 2019 season where he had 47 receptions for 792 yards and eight TDs while being an All-Conference honorable mention selection.
After the spring season finished, he competed in his second Division I sport — track and field. In the Big Sky Outdoor T&F Championships, he finished seventh in the 100m (10.83), fourth in the 110m hurdles (14.03), and fourth in the 4x100m. His time in the 110m hurdles qualified him for the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary Championship.
During the 2019-2020 T&F indoor season, Conner set a new Big Sky Championship record by winning the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.73 seconds.
His athleticism, which includes a 40-inch vertical, and skills on the football field have caught the eye of NFL scouts.
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.