Welcome to the 2022 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Leading up to Week 0 games on Aug. 27, HERO Sports will 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 last season’s rosters.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2021 rosters.
90: Devonnsha Maxwell, DL (Sr.) — Chattanooga
Maxwell is a top FCS returning defensive player in 2022. The 6-foot-2, 296-pounder is big, mean, and productive on the d-line with a long list of accolades. He’s had a lengthy career for the Mocs and has gotten better every year, setting a high expectation level for this fall.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, Maxwell totaled 32 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, and 5.5 sacks, earning SoCon All-Freshman honors and Freshman All-American honors from HERO Sports and Phil Steele. In 2019, he was a HERO Sports Sophomore All-American and a First Team All-SoCon selection after recording 46 tackles, 13 TFLs, and seven sacks.
Maxwell played in four of Chattanooga’s five games in 2020-21 and was still productive from a per-game standpoint. He posted 19 tackles, seven TFLs, and five sacks. He was named an AFCA Second Team All-American and to the All-Conference First Team.
Last fall was a showcase of how dominant Maxwell is. He totaled 42 tackles, 15.5 TFLs, 12 sacks, and five quarterback hurries in 11 games. He was a man possessed in a huge 21-16 win against No. 10 ETSU, racking up five TFLs and five sacks.
Once again, the accolades came flying in. He earned All-SoCon First Team honors and was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Maxwell received multiple All-American honors, including Stats Perform First Team, Phil Steele First Team, HERO Sports Second Team, and AFCA Second Team. Maxwell also finished 14th in the Buck Buchanan Award voting for the best FCS defensive player.
“I don’t think there’s a better defensive lineman out there than Devonnsha Maxwell,” Chattanooga head coach Rusty Wright said last December.
The Mocs had the No. 11 FCS scoring defense in 2021 (17.1 PPG) and were just outside of the Top 25 in rushing defense (122.3 YPG). Chattanooga returns four of its top six tacklers, including Maxwell setting the tone up front.
Chattanooga has bigger expectations than last season’s 6-5 record that saw two losses by four and three points to end the year and fall short of the playoffs. With the returning talent, the Mocs should be a postseason team in 2022 and are ranked No. 16 in our preseason Top 25.