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.
65: Tristen Taylor, junior offensive lineman — Eastern Washington
A coaching staff needs to have a lot of faith to put a redshirt freshman left tackle in for his first career start against a Pac-12 team. But Taylor got the call in 2016 and was a part of EWU's exhilarating 45-42 win against Washington State. He went on to start all 14 games and at the end of the season was named All-Big Sky honorable mention.
Taylor moved to left guard in 2017. He showed his versatility as the Eagles battled injuries, making one start back at left tackle before moving inside again. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound California native earned All-Conference honorable mention honors once again.
The Eagles return a veteran squad as they hope to get back into the playoffs. It all starts up front with protecting All-American quarterback Gage Gubrud, where Taylor is one of four returning starters.
FCS Kickoff Countdown: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
CFB Countdown: The Best Player in FBS Football, 1-99