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
58: Chris Noble, OL (Gr.) — Samford
Noble has started on Samford’s offensive line the last two seasons after transferring from UAB. He played left tackle in 2021 before moving to left guard in 2022.
The 6-foot-4, 287-pounder protected All-American quarterback Michael Hiers as the Bulldogs ranked No. 6 in FCS passing offense last fall (304.4 yards per game).
Noble owned a PFF pass-blocking grade of 77.5. In 600 pass-blocking reps, he allowed two sacks, four hits, and 12 hurries for an efficiency of 98.3.
Samford has an experienced offense coming back after scoring 32.8 points per game. Hiers is back as a Walter Payton Award favorite. The o-line returns three starters, and Samford returns its No. 1 and 3 wide receivers (Chandler Smith, D.J. Rias) and its leading rusher (Jay Stanton).
There are high expectations following an 11-2 season with a trip to the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs are No. 8 in HERO Sports’ FCS Preseason Top 25.