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.
40: Ryan Saddler, LB (Sr.) — Bryant
Bryant’s 7-4 record and 5-2 finish last season in the NEC featured a tough defense. The Bulldogs ranked No. 26 in FCS scoring defense (22.1 PPG) and No. 22 in rushing defense (119.3 YPG). Two standout linebackers led that unit in Ryan Saddler and Joe Andreessen.
Saddler enjoyed a breakout season last fall. He didn’t appear in any games in 2018, was a minor contributor in 2019, and missed the 2021 spring season with an injury.
Saddler took his play to another level and developed into Bryant’s top defensive player last season. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder led the team with 91 tackles, which was seventh-most in school history. He added six tackles for loss and a sack, earning All-NEC First Team honors.
Saddler was also named to the All-New England Team and earned the team’s Bulldog Award, the top honor in the program.
Bryant heads to the Big South this season, an open race for the auto-bid with Kennesaw State and Monmouth no longer in the conference.