Welcome to the 2021 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Leading up to Week 0 games on Aug. 28, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-0. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2020 fall-2021 spring season.
The 99-0 countdown central page can be found here.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2020 fall-2021 spring rosters
76: Matt Waletzko, OL (Sr.) — North Dakota
The UND offensive line allowed just two total sacks in seven games during the team’s run to the FCS spring quarterfinals. The unit also paved the way for All-American running back Otis Weah.
A big part of that o-line is 6-foot-7, 295-pound left tackle Matt Waletzko.
He earned Second Team All-MVFC honors as he gained the attention of NFL scouts with his size and mobility. Waletzko, who has a basketball background from high school, is getting some early love as a potential Day 3 NFL Draft pick in 2022.
He’ll look forward to hopefully a full season of starts in the fall.
As a true freshman in 2018, he got more playing time as the season progressed and started the last five games at left tackle. His anticipated 2019 sophomore year got cut short, starting the first six games until suffering a season-ending injury. And this spring saw UND take a midseason month-long break from games due to COVID.
The Fighting Hawks have a tough 11-game slate upcoming, plus the potential for postseason games. One particular matchup will be important for Waletzko’s film evaluation, and that’s against FBS Utah State. The first film scouts flip on for FCS prospects is against FBS opponents.
The FCS has had success getting offensive linemen drafted. Waletzko looks to be another next year.