9 potential FCS teams in the 2022 season

The Spring Games have passed and summer training nears as FCS programs look to prepare for what will become an exciting 2022 season. As teams wait for the first game to kick off, many have the potential to take off and surprise many.

What is a breakout team? In this article, the outstanding team is the team that did not play in last year’s playoffs or the playoff team that will make a great leap in 2022.

Here’s a look at potential FCS teams for next season:

Bryant

Bryant finished 2021 with a score of 7-4, winning 5-2 at the NEC. The Bulldogs have been in the process of hunting for the Conference title all season, thanks to the emergence of quarterback Zevi Eckhaus. Finalist Jerry Rice was the first true freshman in QB in NEC history to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and the All-NEC First Team Award.

Now, the Eckhaus and Bulldogs are heading to a new conference, the Big South, in 2022. No matter what conference, Eckhaus should do even better in 2022, with a year of experience under his belt.

The Bulldogs may have the best quarterback in the Big South, and the Conference Championship on hand. Bryant could break out, making his first playoff appearance in school history.

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Campbell

Campbell should get first place votes in the Big South pre-season poll. Big South is enjoying a new look after the two biggest teams, Kennesaw State and Monmouth, left, leaving behind five returning .500 sub-programs.

Campbell brought back the conference’s best defensive player of the year, Brevin Allen, while bringing one of the FCS’ top recruiting classes. Now it’s time for the camels to run into the conference title and make their first-ever playoff appearance.

Central Arkansas

The Arkansas quarterback has lost the dynamic wide receiver duo of Lujuan Winningham (NFL) and Tyler Hudson (FBS transfer), as well as starting quarterback Brelin Smith (NFL). However, the Bears still have the ability to make the playoffs in the FCS after losing last season.

The Arkansas quarterback replaced Smith with the quarterback moving to Will McElvan from northern Iowa, providing experience at the center. McElvain will hand the ball back to Darius Hale, a player coming from his own breakout season, having collected more than 1,000 sprint yards and scored 17 touchdowns as a freshman.

Hill should shine once again in purple and black as central Arkansas heads to the revamped ASUN. Bears should be in the public tender conversation at least.

Delaware

Can Delaware State be a standout team having played the FCS semi-finals just two seasons ago?

Yes, blue chickens can after completing 5-6 last year.

Delaware will enter the season with a new head coach, as Alum Ryan Karti brings experience from the 2020 title from Sam Houston. Carte’s move to head coach will be facilitated by the return of midfielder Nolan Henderson, who is in good health after being rattled by injuries so much in 2021.

Elsewhere in the attacking backcourt, Dijon Lee’s loss to full-back should be mitigated with Khoury Sproel returning for a sixth year. Don’t forget the defense still has the safety of all-American high school patrolman Cedric Whitehead.

If Delaware’s returning talent wasn’t enough, blue chicken freshman Galen Witcher picked wide receiver from All American and offensive lineman Josh Stevens from the transfer gate.

The CAA appears wide open in 2022 following the departure of James Madison – and Delaware could win the title.

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Holy Cross

Holy Cross advanced to the second round of the 2021 FCS playoffs, but could still have a breakout season this fall by progressing further.

The Holy Cross will claim its fourth consecutive Patriot League title this fall, with 16 players returning from all conferences. The Crusaders have a chance to take control of the conference. Holy Cross plays two potential conference title winners out of his conference at Harvard and Bryant, which could put the Crusaders in a position to earn the seed in game time. This will definitely qualify for breakout season.

Kennesaw State

Kennesaw State won its conference and won a playoff game in 2021. How can it be an outstanding team? By being one of the best teams in the country.

Xavier Shepherd’s pre-season American quarterback is likely to be under center, the sky is the limit for Kennesaw at ASUN this year. The Booms have an easy schedule outside of the conference and can be defeated against FCS opponents in the regular season for the second year in a row.

Albums can get the second overall seed at the end of the season. This is significant considering that only the teams who played home matches during the FCS semi-finals have been nine of the last 10 participants in the last five FCS tournament matches. Every single seed has this feature.

Kennesaw State has a legitimate shot at the championship and running into the title game would be a breakout season.

North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T struggled in his first year in the Big South play, finishing 5-6 overall. Like Campbell and Bryant, the Agies can now benefit from a wide-open conference filled with losing teams.

Aggies were a strength of MEAC prior to the conference switch, and talent remains throughout the roster. If North Carolina A&T can rediscover their successful ways, they can end their tenure in Big South with a conference title.

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Richmond

Richmond last played the playoffs in the FCS in 2016, but recent moves from The Spiders have them gearing up for a comeback.

Richmond reassembled an elite 1-2 from QB Reece Udinski and WR Jakob Herres – the duo who set the FCS on fire while previously at VMI – thanks to the transfer gate. Tandem adds an explosion to Richmond’s attack, which will benefit an already solid defense. This combination should enhance the spider’s winning total.

Texas A & M Trade

Texas A&M-Commerce will play its first year in FCS football in 2022 after moving out of Division Two. Black can leave its mark quickly.

See Division III-mover St. Thomas last year for example; He finished 6-2 in the Pioneer League in his first year of playing FCS.

Texas A&M-Commerce has the ability to do the same in its first year FCS. The Lions have success rates, winning the 2017 Division Two title. They also bring back the first quarterback, with the addition of multiple FBS-level transfers. Don’t be surprised if a former DII force hits FCS opponents in its first year in the subdivision.

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