HERO Sports is counting down the days until the kickoff of the 2018 college football season on Saturday, Aug. 25, by featuring the best player in the FBS at each jersey number, from 99-1. Each day, from May 18 through Aug. 24, we'll publish one article showcasing the best player whose jersey number matches the number of days remaining.
No. 71 Dalton Risner
Kansas State – OT
Neither Skylar Thompson nor Alex Delton — the two Kansas State quarterbacks competing for the starting job this season — is left-handed but life would be good if they were. While they already have a terrific blind-side protector in left tackle Scott Frantz, they could have an All-American and one of the best linemen in college football protecting the blind side if they were southpaws.
Dalton Risner, who started 13 games at center as a redshirt freshman in 2015 before moving to right tackle, allowed four quarterback pressures on 276 pass-blocking snaps last year. He had a Pro Football Focus pass-blocking efficiency of 98.9, fourth among all FBS tackles.
"Dalton brings awesome energy for our offensive line," quarterback Alex Delton said in April. "He is huge for leadership. He will get on me if I’m not doing something right . . . I am honestly excited to work with him. He is a heck of a player and heck of a person. He is going to prove a lot of people right because he is the real deal."
Risner missed the Cactus Bowl — which he called the worst three hours of his life — and spring practice after a shoulder injury required surgery but should be 100 percent by fall camp.