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FCS Football: Difficult Offseason of Player Losses

FCS Football: Difficult Offseason of Player Losses

FCS Football: Difficult Offseason of Player Losses

If it feels like FCS college football is still spinning off its axis, it's not just COVID-19 concerns, although the pandemic canceled many spring practices and is threatening to prevent a full 2020 season for many schools.

A week rarely seems to pass this offseason without the FCS losing an All-America player for one reason after another, the latest being Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson as one of dozens departing as a graduate transfer.

These 10 losses have stood out:

OLB Jabril Cox (North Dakota State to LSU)

The three-time FCS champion has joined the defending FBS champion on a grad transfer. Cox would have been the leading NFL prospect on the FCS level.

QB Kevin Thomson (Sacramento State to Washington)

Having already been on the FBS level at UNLV, the 2019 Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year has gone back home for a final season.

RB Pete Guerriero (Monmouth to NFL early entry)

The 2019 FCS rushing leader is still seeking an NFL opportunity after going undrafted and unsigned this spring.

OLB Troy Andersen (Montana State injury)

The plan is for the two-time All-Big Sky first-teamer (quarterback in 2018, linebacker in 2019) to redshirt due to lower extremity injuries and return as a senior in 2021.

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DE Justus Reed (Youngstown State to Virginia Tech)

The All-Missouri Valley pass rusher, whose career started at Florida, has a seventh (yeah, seventh) year of eligibility. He decided not to spend it at Youngstown State after head coach Bo Pelini's departure.

TE Briley Moore (Northern Iowa to Kansas State)

The NFL prospect didn't beat North Dakota State coach Chris Klieman while playing at UNI. Now he's joined Klieman at Kansas State.

WR Ra'Shaun Henry (St. Francis to Virginia)

This is not your typical loss in the Northeast Conference because Henry is coming off a breakout junior season with 90 receptions for 1,118 yards.

C Blake Jeresaty (Wofford to Illinois)

The Southern Conference's 2019 Offensive Lineman of the Year heard from 30 programs on the first day he announced a grad transfer, ultimately opting for coach Lovie Smith's Illini program.

PK/P Grayson Atkins (Furman to North Carolina)

Atkins' accuracy on field goals outside 40 yards made him particularly attractive heading toward his final season.

PK Noel Ruiz (North Carolina A&T to Georgia State)

The FCS leader in field goals per game (1.92; 23 field goals in 12 games) was set to shatter NC A&T career records before jumping to the FBS.

— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.

(Photo courtesy of Youngstown State Athletics)