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.
The 99-0 countdown central page can be found here.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2020 fall-2021 spring rosters.
8: Tre Walker, LB (Jr.) — Idaho
Walker’s hard-hitting style of play has been highlight-worthy several times throughout his career. But he’s not just a “thumper” at linebacker. The 6-foot-1, 240-pounder has the skill set to play in the NFL. And out of all of the standout linebackers in the FCS, he was the only one to be named to the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl Watchlist.
HERO Sports ranks Walker the No. 1 returning FCS linebacker.
Walker came into the national spotlight as a true sophomore in 2019. The HERO Sports Sophomore All-American and Second Team All-Big Sky selection totaled 138 tackles in 12 games. He also had nine tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. The 11.5 tackles per game ranked No. 4 in the FCS.
The All-American honors came pouring in after the 2021 spring season. Walker was named a First Team All-American by HERO Sports, Stats Perform, the AP, and Phil Steele. The AFCA named him a Second Team All-American. He also earned First Team All-Conference honors.
In just four games, he racked up 54 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, and two sacks. The 13.5 tackles per game were the third most in the FCS.
Walker enters this fall as the Big Sky’s Preseason Defensive MVP and a First Team HERO Sports All-American.
Walker technically has only had one full season as a starting linebacker. He played in all 11 games and started two as a true freshman in 2018. Yet he has still compiled 233 career tackles and 16.5 TFLs. A big year is in store for one of the FCS’ elite players.