Welcome to the 2022 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Leading up to 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.
97: Reece Winkelman, DL (Sr.) — South Dakota State
Winkelman is one of those players where it feels like we’ve been hearing his name called on the TV broadcast or in the stadium for a decade. He enters his sixth season in a Jackrabbit uniform and his fifth as a contributor on the d-line. Winkelman has already played in 50 games with a full season and a long playoff run still to come.
A backup who saw plenty of reps in 2018, he took over as a starter in 2019 and led the Jacks with 6.5 sacks to go along with nine TFLs and 36 tackles. In the spring season, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound DE totaled 25 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and three TFLs.
And last season, Winkelman recorded 34 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, and three quarterback hurries. He was named to the All-MVFC Second Team as part of SDSU’s rotating defensive line and the No. 14 FCS rushing defense (109.9 YPG).
A two-star recruit out of Marshall, Minnesota, Winkelman has played a key role in the Jacks improving on the defensive side of the ball, which has resulted in deeper playoff runs. SDSU reached the spring’s national title game and last season’s semifinals. The Jacks should have one of the better front sevens in the FCS in 2022 with the likes of Winkelman, DE Quinton Hicks, DT Caleb Sanders, and MLB Adam Bock. They do lose a few key pieces in the DL room, so the Jacks’ depth will be tested up front, or a guy like Winkelman will see increased reps.
Winkelman has been a steady, perhaps underlooked presence in SDSU’s starting lineup as the Jacks have had several All-American star power names over the years. He’ll be a leader on an SDSU team gunning for a national title, being named a captain this offseason.