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.
MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
FCS Home | FCS Rankings
Compare FCS Teams | Compare FCS Players
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.
50: James Gilleylen, senior linebacker – UT-Martin
How about a senior linebacker who already has more than 30 games under his belt before his final season even starts? When it comes to accumulating both starts and tackles, there aren't many college players who have a more stacked résumé than UT-Martin's James Gilleylen.
A 245-pounder who started 10 games during his redshirt freshman season, Gilleylen has contributed at least 50 or more tackles in three consecutive seasons in Martin. Last fall, during his junior season, his 88 total tackles (8.0 tpg) ranked 84th nationally. His defense eventually landed him a spot on the Ohio Valley Conference's Second Team.
Gilleylen's defensive unit, which only gave up 14.3 ppg in 2017, ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense. With the senior back for one last season, we expect more lockdown performances from the Skyhawks 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