Welcome to the 2020 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Throughout the May-August months, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-1. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2019 season.
The full 99-1 countdown/schedule can be found here.
*Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2019 rosters.
48: Chris Kolarevic, LB (Jr.) — Northern Iowa
UNI has a long and strong lineage of linebackers. Chris Kolarevic looked like the next great one as a redshirt freshman in 2018. He started the first six games of the season, racking up 65 tackles. But a foot injury in that sixth game ended his standout year.
Kolarevic didn’t return to the field until the fourth game of the 2019 season. But when he did come back, he looked like the same explosive player. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder went on to finish the season with 79 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
He was twice named the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week and earned All-Conference Second Team honors.
The Panthers allowed 17.7 points per game in 2019, ranking No. 7 in the FCS. They return five All-MVFC players and have three HERO Sports preseason All-Americans on that side of the ball.
UNI looks to have a top defense in the FCS this season, and Kolarevic is a major piece of that puzzle.