Welcome to the 2022 FCS Jersey Countdown. Leading up to the start of weekly college football odds and 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.
28: Julien Gums, RB (Sr.) — Nicholls
While some may view the Southland Conference as a pass-happy league, Nicholls is all about establishing the run. The Colonels ranked No. 5 last season in FCS rushing offense, averaging 246.7 yards per game. And they did it without one of their standout RBs in Gums.
Gums played in the first four games last fall before a season-ending injury. He rushed for 313 yards and two scores on 49 carries in those four contests, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. HERO Sports Freshman All-American Collin Guggenheim picked up the load and ran for 930 yards and 10 touchdowns. With Gums and Guggenheim both back in 2022, Nicholls has two elite returning FCS running backs.
Gums arrived at Nicholls in 2018 as a two-star recruit. As a freshman, he averaged 6.8 yards per carry, totaling 544 yards and six TDs.
The 5-foot-10, 230-pound bruising back emerged as a standout FCS running back in 2019. Gums set the school’s single-season records with 1,232 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns on 214 carries.
He was named on the All-Southland Conference First Team and a HERO Sports Sophomore All-American.
Gums’ yards per carry continued to be superb in the 2021 spring season. He averaged 5.8 YPC, totaling 467 yards and eight TDs in only six games.
Gums was ready to break some Nicholls career records last year before his injury. He now sets his sights on those records in 2022. He is ranked No. 2 all-time in career rushing yards with 2,556, trailing Josh Son’s 2,658. Gums is third all-time in career rushing touchdowns with 32, behind Broderick Cole’s 33 and Chase Fourcade’s 35.