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Stan Becton | | September 20, 2022

Delaware's Nolan Henderson surges in FCS quarterback rankings for Week 4

FCS football season preview: Players to watch, potential upsets and more

An impressive weekend from Delaware's Nolan Henderson makes him the biggest riser in this week's FCS quarterback rankings, with some shuffling shaking up the bottom half of the top 10.

I went through all of the games, highlights and stats, creating a top-10 list that ranks the best FCS quarterbacks so far. This top-10 FCS quarterback ranking evaluates quarterbacks from their performances this season, factoring in every game. Here are some โ€” not all โ€” of the criteria evaluated:

  • Counting stats (yards and touchdowns)
  • Completion percentage
  • Quality of competition
  • Performance under pressure
  • Clutchness
  • Rushing ability
  • Wins

That said, let's get into the top 10.

The top 10 FCS quarterbacks entering Week 4

1. Lindsey Scott Jr. | UIW | Prev: 1

Lindsey Scott Jr. holds on to the top spot for another week after completing 32 of 43 passes (74 percent) for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Scott leads the nation in passing efficiency and has defeated two 2021 postseason teams and an FBS opponent to start 2022.


2. Tim DeMorat | Fordham | Prev: 2

If I could do a 1a-1b to top the list, Tim DeMorat would be 1b. That's how good he's been this year. DeMorat had another great game in Week 3, completing 33 of 53 passes (62 percent) for 464 yards and five touchdowns, connecting with nine different receivers. The only thing keeping DeMorat from moving to the top spot is the level of competition, as his 2022 opponents have combined to win one game so far. The competition level will change in Week 4 when DeMorat faces FBS opponent Ohio.

3. Shedeur Sanders | Jackson State | Prev: 3

A dominant second half helps Shedeur Sanders remain in the top three quarterbacks entering Week 4. After Sanders turned the ball over for the first time this season in the first half, he responded by leading his team to a 45-7 run in the second half. He finished the day midway through the fourth quarter with 357 passing yards and four passing touchdowns on 22-of-34 passing (65 percent). Sanders also ran for two touchdowns, bringing his Week 3 total to six, a career-high.

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4. Jason Shelley | Missouri State | Prev: 7

Jason Shelley played a standout game against FBS No. 10 Arkansas, finishing 24 of 43 (56 percent) through the air for 357 yards and a touchdown, adding a score on the ground. While Shelley and Missouri State couldn't come away with an FCS-over-FBS upset, he and the Bears pushed the Razorbacks to the brink, and led entering the fourth quarter.

5. Nolan Henderson | Delaware | Prev: 10

If Nolan Henderson played just one half against top-15 opponent Rhode Island, he likely would've put enough on tape to rise up the list. That's how good Henderson played, passing for 315 yards and four touchdowns in the first half. He finished the day 29 of 34 (85 percent) for 379 yards and four touchdowns, a career-high. Any questions about if Henderson would return to form post-injury can be thrown to the side.

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6. Matthew Sluka | Holy Cross | Prev: 4

It wasn't an eye-popping day for Matthew Sluka, but it was still a good day. Sluka defeated Yale, completing 16 of 20 passes (80 percent) for 249 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for another touchdown. As Holy Cross cruised to a 38-14 win, Sluka had the offense rolling.

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7. Lucas Johnson | Montana | Prev: 5

Montana handled Indiana State en route to a 49-14 win, with Lucas Johnson completing 18 of 30 passes (60 percent) for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson added a rushing touchdown in the win, and Montana looks like a championship-caliber team with him at the helm.

8. Darius Wilson | William & Mary | Prev: 8

Darius Wilson may not have the gaudy numbers week to week as some of the other quarterbacks on this list, but he's getting the job done where it matters most โ€” the win column. In Week 3, Wilson completed 16 of 23 passes (70 percent) for 194 yards, throwing one touchdown and one interception. He also added 38 rushing yards as William & Mary cruised to another win.

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9. Parker McKinney | Eastern Kentucky | Prev: NR

Parker McKinney makes his first appearance in the top 10 quarterback rankings after completing 20 of 29 passes (69 percent) for 342 yards and four touchdowns. McKinney ranks fourth in the nation in passing yards and touchdowns after an impressive start to the season.

10. Gunner Talkington | Eastern Washington | Prev: 9

Gunner Talkington had a bye week in Week 3. When Talkington returns to play, he'll need to look more like he did in Week 1's win than he did in Week 2's loss to hold on to a top 10 spot.

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Spots 10-20

Here are the next 10 just outside the list:

(listed alphabetically by last name)

  • Carlos Davis | Western Carolinaย 
  • Mike DiLiello | Austin Peay
  • Zevi Eckhaus | Bryant
  • Michael Hiers | Samford
  • Kasim Hill | Rhode Island
  • Maverick McIvor | Abilene Christian
  • Matthew McKay | Elon
  • Davius Richard | NC Central
  • Connor Watkins | Villanova
  • Dresser Winn | UT Martin

Davius Richard gained the most momentum of any quarterback outside the top ten over the last few weeks. I currently have Richard as the 13th-best quarterback in the FCS based on his performance so far during North Carolina Central's undefeated start.

HBCU POWER RANKINGS:ย Undefeated start boosts North Carolina Centralย 

Carlos Davis dropped from the top 10 this week as he missed Week 3 due to injury, but his offense still scored 77 points without him. Matthew McKay is a new entrant into the top 20 as Jacksonville State's Zion Webb dropped out from the top 20.

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