1The 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.
84: Stephen Carlson, senior wide receiver – Princeton
Thanks to a plethora of playmakers are over the field, Princeton's offense had a banner offensive year in 2017. Senior quarterback Chad Kanoff threw for almost 3,500 yards. Runningback Charles Volker piled up 600 yards on the ground, courtesy of 4.5 ypc. Receiver Jesper Horsted led the conference in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The 2017 Tigers rewrote quite a few school records.
Flying under the radar of all the noise was six-foot-four junior Stephen Carlson, who jumped from two catches for nine yards in 2016 to 71 catches for 935 yards last season. His ability to make tough catches and find the end zone gave Princeton's receiving corps a dimension of true depth, elevating the rest of the offense.
Carlson, who also chipped in a modest 11 touchdowns, will return to Princeton alongside Horsted this fall for his senior campaign. Plenty of defensive attention will be paid to Horsted, who was a unanimous first-team all-Ivy selection in 2017. But Carlson, who received second-team all-conference honors himself, is a more-than-capable player in his own right. If opposing defenses try to bracket Horsted at the expense of Carlson, we think the senior will make them pay. Don't be surprised to find Carlson leading the Ivy League in receiving yards come November.
FCS Kickoff Countdown: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
CFB Countdown: The Best Player in FBS Football, 1-99