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.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2020 fall-2021 spring rosters
75: Ty Whitworth, OL (Sr.) — Weber State
There is no official FCS record for most career starts, but if there was, Whitworth would likely be near the top or at the very top of the list when the 2021 season wraps up.
Dating back to his redshirt freshman season in 2017, Whitworth has started in all 48 games played — 14 in 2017, 13 in 2018, 15 in 2019, and six in the spring of 2021. Thanks to a free year of eligibility, the big man (6-foot-4 and 300 pounds) will be back in 2021. Weber State plays 11 games this fall, plus has the potential to play a few more in the playoffs.
Whitworth could pass 60 career starts if all goes according to plan for the Wildcats, who reached the quarterfinals in 2017 and 2018, the semifinals in 2019, and lost in the first round in the spring.
NDSU defensive back Christian Dudzik started 61 career games from 2011-2014. No offense to DBs, but doing it on the offensive line is a different animal. To be fair, though, Dudzik did it in four seasons.
Whitworth, a guard, has grown to be one of the most respected offensive linemen in the Big Sky and FCS. He’s a three-time First Team All-Conference selection. Nationally, he earned HERO Sports Sophomore All-American honors in 2018 and was named to three different All-American teams in the 2021 spring season.