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.
22: Zyon McCollum, DB (Sr.) — Sam Houston
McCollum is a long and fluid cornerback that has grabbed the attention of NFL scouts.
At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, McCollum has been locking down his side of the field since his true freshman season in 2017. He arrived at SHSU as a three-star recruit from Galveston, Texas, turning down FBS offers from Utah and Tulane.
In his debut season, McCollum totaled 42 tackles, three interceptions, and 17 passes defended. As a sophomore, he had 44 tackles, three picks, a pick-six, and 11 passes defended. In 2019, McCollum had 23 tackles, three interceptions, one pick-six, and 11 passes defended. And in the spring of 2021, when SHSU won the national title, McCollum racked up 46 tackles, one interception, and seven passes defended.
In 44 career games, McCollum has 155 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 10 interceptions, two pick-sixes, 46 passes defended, and six forced fumbles. His career honors include:
2017 HERO Sports Freshman All-American
2018 HERO Sports Sophomore All-American
2018 All-Southland Conference First Team
2019 All-Southland Conference First Team
2020-21 All-Southland Conference First Team
2020-21 HERO Sports First Team All-American
2020-21 AFCA Second Team All-American
2021 Buck Buchanan Award watch list
Draft Scout currently ranks McCollum the 29th best NFL Draft prospect at cornerback for the 2022 draft. This year’s draft saw 37 cornerbacks get selected, while the five-year average is 33.
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.