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
71: Luke Newman, OL (Sr.) — Holy Cross
Newman is one of the very best at his position in the subdivision, ranking No. 2 on HERO Sports’ top FCS returning offensive linemen list.
The 6-foot-5, 301-pounder is a two-year starter at Holy Cross. He’s earned All-Patriot League First Team honors in both of those seasons. Newman has also been named a 2021 HERO Sports Sophomore All-American and was a multi-time All-American last year by Stats Perform (First Team), The Bluebloods (Second Team), and the Associated Press (Third Team).
Newman had an overall PFF offensive grade of 79.0 in 2022, which was No. 8 among FCS offensive tackles and is the third-highest for a returning FCS tackle. His pass-blocking grade was 72.0, and Newman’s run-blocking grade of 80.6 ranked No. 6 for FCS OTs.
In 349 pass-blocking reps recorded on PFF, Newman had a 96.8 efficiency with five sacks allowed, zero hits, and 11 hurries. The year prior, Newman allowed one sack, no hits, and five hurries in 357 pass-blocking reps for a 99.0 efficiency.
Holy Cross finished last season 12-1 overall with a trip to the quarterfinals. The Crusaders return eight starters on an offense that ranked No. 8 in FCS scoring (37.4 PPG), including four on the o-line led by Newman. Holy Cross ranks No. 4 in our FCS Preseason Top 25.