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.
84: Kyle Lepkowski, TE (Sr.) — New Hampshire
After a solid 2021 season that featured 25 receptions for 297 yards and a touchdown, Lepkowski turned into a key target for UNH’s offense in 2022.
The 6-foot-4, 256-pounder finished second on the team with 542 receiving yards and third with 42 catches while having two receiving TDs.
He caught the game-winning touchdown in a huge 42-41 overtime win over Maine a day before Selection Sunday, solidifying UNH’s spot in the playoffs as the Wildcats hit their eighth D1 win. They then beat Fordham 52-42 in the first round before losing 35-19 at Holy Cross, where Lepkowski caught another touchdown as part of a four-catch, 71-yard day.
Lepkowski’s overall PFF offensive grade of 69.1 ranked No. 25 among FCS tight ends in 2022, and his receiving grade of 76.0 ranked No. 16.
Another big season is expected as HERO Sports ranks Lepkowski the No. 8 returning FCS tight end.
UNH’s playoff appearance last season snapped its postseason drought from 2018-2021. Before that, the Wildcats had an impressive run of 14 straight playoff berths from 2004-2017. UNH looks loaded to return to the bracket this fall, highlighted by an explosive offense led by Lepkowski, QB Max Brosmer, and RB Dylan Laube. UNH also has an elite defensive end duo in Dylan Ruiz and Josiah Silver.
The Wildcats are ranked No. 14 on our FCS Preseason Top 25.