Welcome to the 2022 FCS Jersey Countdown. Leading up to the start of weekly college football odds and Week 0 games on Aug. 27, HERO Sports will 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 last season’s rosters.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2021 rosters.
53: Eli Mostaert, DL (Jr.) — North Dakota State
Mostaert looks to be the next standout on NDSU’s d-line after two solid seasons to start his career.
A two-star recruit, he chose NDSU over offers from Air Force, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois, according to 247Sports. His twin brother Will is also a defensive lineman for the Bison.
After redshirting in 2019, Mostaert recorded 34 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, and 4.5 sacks in 10 games during the 2020-21 season. He was named a HERO Sports Freshman All-American and earned All-MVFC Honorable Mention and All-Newcomer Team honors.
The 6-foot-3, 283-pound defensive tackle upped his play in the fall, as did the entire defensive line. NDSU owned the No. 1 FCS scoring defense (11.1 points per game) last season and the No. 6 rushing defense (87.6 yards per game). Mostaert totaled 44 tackles, 10 TFLs, and 7.5 sacks during NDSU’s 14-1 campaign en route to another national championship. Mostaert was again named an All-Conference honorable mention along with a nod on the HERO Sports Sophomore All-American Team.
The Bison have some holes to fill across the d-line and at linebacker but expect them to reload per usual as they are favorites again to win a title. Even with NDSU’s deep rotation on the defensive line, Mostaert has potential for an All-American-level season as a leader up front.