2022 FCS College Football: Top Returning Defensive Statistical Leaders
FCS

2022 FCS College Football: Top Returning Defensive Statistical Leaders

With players taking advantage of an extra year of NCAA eligibility, the 2021 season was full of experienced players in FCS college football.

However, even with key losses, that doesn’t mean the Division I subdivision will lack standout players in 2022 – the numbers don’t lie.

Following are some of this year’s key returning defensive leaders from the 2021 FCS season and career-wise while playing in the subdivision:

Total Tackles – 2021: Jacob Dobbs, Holy Cross, 137; Career: Robby Hauck, Montana, 364

Tackles Per Game – 2021 (minimum played in three-quarters of team’s games): James Conway, Fordham, and Rodney Dansby, Houston Baptist, 11.9 each (131/11); Career (minimum 15 games): Ryan Greenhagen, Fordham, 10.4 (312/30)

Solo Tackles Per Game – 2021 (minimum played in three-quarters of team’s games): Kelechi Anyalebechi, UIW, 6.2 (81/13); Career (minimum 15 games): Ryan Greenhagen, Fordham, 6.2 (185/30)

ryan-greenhagen-fordham-linebacker
Fordham’s Ryan Greenhagen had 31 tackles against Nebraska on Sept. 4, 2021 – the Division I high since tackles became an official NCAA statistic in 2000. (AP photo)

Sacks – 2021: Isaiah Land, Florida A&M, 19; Career: Jordan Lewis, Southern, 34

Sacks Per Game – 2021 (minimum played in three-quarters of team’s games): Isaiah Land, Florida A&M, 1.58 (19/12); Career (minimum 15 games): Isaiah Land, Florida A&M, 0.95 (21/22)

Tackles For Loss – 2021: Isaiah Land, Florida A&M, 25.5; Career: Jordan Lewis, Southern, 48.5

Tackles For Loss Per Game – 2021 (minimum played in three-quarters of team’s games): Jeblonski Green, South Carolina State, 2.2 (19.5/9); Career (minimum 15 games): Isaiah Land, Florida A&M, 1.39 (30.5/22)

isaiah-land-florida-a&m
Florida A&M edge Isaiah Land (31), in SWAC action against Southern, led the FCS in sacks and tackles for loss while earning the Stats Perform 2021 Buck Buchanan Award as the national defensive player of the year. (FAMU Athletics)

Interceptions – 2021: Justin Ford, Montana, 9; Career: John Smith, Holy Cross, 12

Passes Defended – 2021: Justin Ford, Montana, 21; Career: Anthony Adams, Portland State, 40

Forced Fumbles – 2021: Nate Lynn, William & Mary, and Josaiah Silver, New Hampshire, 6 each; Career: Kelechi Anyalebechi, UIW, Myles Heard, Stephen F. Austin, and Billy Shaeffer, Lafayette, 7 each

Fumble Recoveries – 2021: Anthony Adams, Portland State, Jayden Barfield, Alcorn State, Caden Houghtelling, Northern Iowa, Akeal Lalaind, Stony Brook, Jared Pedraza, Northwestern State, Jay Person, Chattanooga, Stone Snyder, VMI, and Ken Standley, Mercer, 3 each; Career: N/A

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Entering the 2022 season, Portland State’s Anthony Adams has 13 career takeaways (nine INTs, four fumble recoveries). (PSU Athletics)

Note: Statistics by Stats Perform and NCAA.org.