Welcome to the 2023 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Leading up to Week 0 games on Aug. 26, HERO Sports will name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-0. Because team rosters are updated at different times across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on last season’s rosters.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2022 rosters.
51: Nate Leskovec, DL (Sr.) — Harvard
Leskovec was a three-star high school recruit by 247Sports and was the No. 3 signee in Brian McLaughlin’s HERO Sports 2019 FCS recruiting rankings.
He chose Harvard over FBS offers from Boston College, Ball State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Kent State, Northwestern, Ohio, Pitt, Purdue, Syracuse, Toledo, Wake Forest, and West Virginia, according to 247Sports.
Leskovec has delivered big seasons in the last two years. The 6-foot-3, 251-pounder totaled 37 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and six quarterback hurries in 2021, earning Second Team All-Ivy League honors.
Last season saw 36 tackles, 10 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, and five QB hurries. Leskovec was named Honorable Mention All-Ivy by the conference and earned First Team All-Conference honors from Phil Steele.
Leskovec was part of a special 2022 defensive line that helped Harvard to its No. 4 FCS rushing defense (96.5 yards allowed per game). The DL also featured Truman Jones, who signed an NFL undrafted free agent contract in April, and Thor Griffith, who is the top returning 2023 FCS defensive tackle.