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.
1: Kedrick Whitehead, DB (Sr.) — Delaware
Whitehead looks to be a four-time All-American when the 2022 season ends. The hard-hitting safety is in his fifth season with the Blue Hens and is a team captain.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder sets the tone with his big hits and splash plays. Whitehead has been a key part of Delaware’s defense since 2019 when he was named to the All-CAA Third Team and a HERO Sports Sophomore All-American. Whitehead’s 103 tackles led the team, and he added one interception and six passes defended.
In eight games during the 2021 spring season, Whitehead recorded 31 tackles, three TFLs, one interception, three passes defended, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Stats Perform, the Associated Press, and Athlon Sports recognized him as a First Team All-American. He also earned a nod on the All-Conference First Team.
Whitehead made it three All-CAA seasons last fall, getting another First Team honor. He totaled 76 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups, and one forced fumble. Stats Perform named Whitehead on its All-American Third Team.
Delaware had a down year last fall after reaching the spring’s semifinals. The Blue Hens went 5-6, but an injury to All-CAA quarterback Nolan Henderson derailed the season. With Henderson and Whitehead back alongside several more significant contributors, plus the hiring of Ryan Carty adding excitement around the program, Delaware has big preseason expectations. They are ranked No. 19 in the preseason Stats Perform media poll.