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.
56: Zack Gieg, OL (Sr.) — Southeast Missouri State
SEMO owned a terrific rushing attack last fall, led by Geno Hess running for 1,115 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Redhawks ranked No. 20 in the FCS with 195.6 yards per game on the ground.
SEMO also got big-time play out of its offensive line with guys like Nate Korte and Gieg performing at a high level. While Korte was a veteran on the line last year, Gieg came in as a transfer and made an immediate impact in his debut season.
A two-star recruit from California, Gieg spent two seasons at Fresno State before transferring to SEMO. He won the starting center job and went on to have a First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference season. The 6-foot-1, 296-pounder also helped SEMO allow 1.64 sacks per game, which ranked in the top third of the FCS at No. 39.
With Korte, Gieg, Hess (who is our No. 7 returning RB), and OVC All-Newcomer Team quarterback CJ Ogbonna all coming back, expect SEMO to build off of last year’s 4-7 record and 4-2 mark in the conference standings that included a narrow 38-30 loss to OVC champ UT Martin in October and a 31-14 win against the No. 8 Skyhawks in a rematch to end the regular season.