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.
19: Xavier Smith, WR (Sr.) — Florida A&M
It’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen Smith in action after FAMU decided not to play any games in 2020-21 due to COVID. But that hasn’t prevented Smith from receiving plenty of 2021 preseason attention.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder is coming off of a huge 2019 season. Smith was a dynamic weapon in FAMU’s 9-2 season, catching 77 passes for 1,159 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 105.4 receiving yards per game ranked fifth in the FCS.
Smith was named to the All-MEAC First Team and earned HERO Sports Sophomore All-American honors.
“The whole world knows about Xavier Smith already,” FAMU WRs coach Jelani Berassa said. “He’s already proven his ability to be a playmaker and change games.”
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.