Wealth of QBs returning to FCS leaders

Wealth of QBs returning to FCS leaders

Published Jan. 13, 2017 10:59 a.m. ET

(STATS) - Jeremiah Briscoe and Gage Gubrud, there is company - plenty of starting quarterbacks who will return to many of the nation's better FCS programs next season.

Let's put it this way, more of the season-ending top 20-ranked teams will have new head coaches than new signal-callers in 2017.

The only Top 20 team that is losing its starting quarterback is No. 7 Jacksonville State - Eli Jenkins, a 3 1/2-year starter.

It's an incredible amount of returning quarterbacks at football's most important position.


Leading the returnees are Briscoe of No. 5 Sam Houston State and Gubrud of No. 4 Eastern Washington. Briscoe won the 2016 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award and set the single-season record in the subdivision with 57 touchdown passes, while Gubrud finished third at the Payton announcement last Friday after passing for an FCS-record 5,160 yards this season.

Briscoe and Gubrud were the first and second-team selections, respectively, on the STATS FCS All-America Team. The two third-team choices, Taryn Christion of No. 6 South Dakota State and Devlin Hodges of No. 23 Samford, also return.

But staying within the first 20 teams of the season-ending rankings, there are returnees at No. 1 national champion James Madison (Bryan Schor) and No. 2 national runner-up Youngstown State (Hunter Wells). Also, No. 3 North Dakota State (Easton Stick), No. 8 Richmond (Kyle Lauletta), No. 9 Wofford (Brandon Goodson) and No. 10 The Citadel (Dominique Allen).

In addition, there are returning starting quarterbacks at No. 11 Villanova (Zach Bednarczyk), No. 12 North Dakota (Keaton Studsrud), No. 13 Chattanooga (Alejandro Bennifield), No. 14 Central Arkansas (Hayden Hildebrand), No. 15 Charleston Southern (Shane Bucenell), No. 16 Grambling State (DeVante Kincade), No. 17 New Hampshire (Trevor Knight), No. 19 San Diego (Anthony Lawrence) and No. 20 North Carolina A&T (Lamar Raynard).

Coastal Carolina, which finished 18th, is returning its starting quarterback, but the Chanticleers are moving from the FCS to the Sun Belt Conference in the FBS.