The countdown to the 2018 college football season is on. Four FCS teams are in action Aug. 25 as Duquesne takes on UMass, Prairie View faces Rice and North Carolina A&T and Jacksonville State square off in ESPN’s FCS Kickoff.
HERO Sports is going to count down each day by highlighting the best player in FCS football who wears the jersey number of the number of days to kickoff. You can find the running list of top players here.
*Note: Jersey numbers are from the 2017 season.
40: Darryl Johnson, Jr., DL — North Carolina A&T
There's a long list of reasons why North Carolina A&T was the only FCS team to go undefeated last season, and high on that list is the up-front pressure. The Aggies leveraged their advantage at the line of scrimmage every weekend last fall, and no player did that quite as well as rising junior Darryl Johnson.
Johnson, who played as a redshirt freshman in 2016, didn't waste much time in his early playing days. Even in a limited role, he still notched 6.5 TFL's (two sacks) during his first year on the field.
Last year, Johnson was let off the leash as a full-time starter. His 38 total tackles are above average, for a lineman; his 15.5 tackles for loss are in a category of their own.
Johnson, who was a no-brainer selection for the MEAC's First-Team Defense last season, has two seasons left in Greensboro. He's a big reason why North Carolina A&T could run its active win streak to 20 games this fall.
FCS Kickoff Countdown: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
CFB Countdown: The Best Player in FBS Football, 1-99