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.
96: Josiah Silver, DL (So.) — New Hampshire
Silver is wearing No. 8 this season
Silver was not only one of the best FCS freshman last season, he was one of the top overall defensive ends in the subdivision.
The 6-foot-2, 234-pounder was a menace to block all season for offensive tackles. He made plays everywhere with an incredibly productive and team-high 80 tackles, 20.5 TFLs, 12.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles in 11 games. His 7.3 tackles per game were the most in the FCS for a non-LB or non-DB.
Silver caught the eyes nationally last year with his two TFLs and two sacks against No. 3 James Madison in a 23-21 early October loss. He continued to torment offenses off the edge the rest of the year, and his last two games against playoff-fringe teams Rhode Island and Maine saw a combined eight TFLs and six sacks.
Silver took home several postseason accolades. He earned All-CAA First Team honors and was named the conference’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. Nationally, Silver had multiple All-American honors, including HERO Sports Second Team, HERO Sports Freshman, Stats Perform Third Team, and AP Second Team. He also finished third in the Jerry Rice Award voting for the best FCS freshman.
“Josiah continues to impress us,” UNH head coach Rick Santos said. “He’s as dynamic a pass rusher as you’re going to find at this level. He’s a great kid, a humble kid.”
Just a freshman last year, it’s scary to think what Silver can do in 2022. Here’s to hoping he stays in a New Hampshire uniform for multiple more seasons as he’s among the FCS’ elite players.