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.
3: Jason Shelley, QB (Sr.) — Missouri State
Missouri State has seen an immediate turnaround after the hiring of Bobby Petrino. The Bears have made the playoffs in both seasons with their spring appearance breaking a 30-year postseason drought. Some transfers have been big difference-makers in the quick success, including Shelley (Utah State) and WR Tyrone Scott (Central Michigan).
Ranked the No. 12 dual-threat QB in the country coming out of high school, Shelley made stops at Utah and Utah State before transferring to Missouri State last fall. He led the Bears to an 8-4 record, including a competitive 23-16 loss to FBS No. 22 Oklahoma State, where Shelley threw for 235 yards and a TD. His arm talent was on display all season. And his ability to make plays with his feet added a dangerous dimension to his game.
Shelley finished 215-of-362 passing for 3,088 yards, 30 TDs, and six interceptions, including 398 yards rushing and 10 scores. He was named the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.
Mo State ranked No. 12 in FCS scoring offense (34.2 points per game) and No. 15 in FCS passing offense (282.8 yards per game).
With Shelley and Scott back to lead the offense, the Bears have high expectations this season.
Some may hesitate regarding the hype, considering the team is 0-2 in those consecutive playoffs. But the returning talent and experience, plus the addition of double-digit FBS transfers, plus the absence of James Madison/Jacksonville State/Sam Houston have Mo State ranked No. 5 in the Stats Perform preseason media poll.