Welcome to the 2023 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Leading up to Week 0 games on Aug. 26, HERO Sports will name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-0. Because team rosters are updated at different times across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on last season’s rosters.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2022 rosters.
88: Tyler Neville, TE (Sr.) — Harvard
Neville has gone through an incredible level of adversity in his life, but he hasn’t let that stop him from accomplishing his goals and making an impact on and off the field.
Neville was born without hearing and quickly had surgery to place small tubes in his eardrums. By the age of 14, he was a standout athlete but began to have shortness of breath while exercising. A doctor found a chest wall disorder, resulting in Neville getting a metal bar surgically placed under his sternum and his ribcage, which corrected the shape of his chest wall.
Due to the metal bar, Neville could not play football, but he was able to play basketball with a protective vest. However, Neville later began to have pain in his chest. The doctors found that the metal bar wasn’t the problem, it was a spot on his lungs. Neville was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
He once again didn’t let this impact his athletic career. Neville’s cancer was in remission during his sophomore year with the help of chemotherapy while still playing basketball. And he was also able to get the metal plate removed, which meant Neville could suit up for football again by his junior season.
And he became quite the player on the gridiron, grabbing the attention of several D1 colleges athletically and academically.
Neville was ranked a three-star recruit with 18 FCS offers and 11 FBS offers, according to 247Sports.
He chose Harvard, and he developed into a breakout player for the Crimson last season as a junior. Cancer-free and standing at a strong 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Neville caught 26 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns. He earned First Team All-Ivy League honors.
Neville is also making a major impact off the field with the Tyler Neville Foundation.
Now a senior in 2023, HERO Sports ranks Neville as the 14th-best returning FCS tight end.