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.
41: Mike DeNucci, LB (Sr.) — Lehigh
DeNucci was one of the most productive and highly-graded FCS linebackers in 2022.
After starting seven games in 2021 and totaling 38 tackles, four tackles for loss, and two sacks, he exploded last season.
The 6-foot, 230-pounder racked up 93 tackles, 16.5 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, and two pass breakups. Some of his best games were against Lehigh’s top competition: nine tackles vs. ranked Richmond, 11 tackles and three sacks at Princeton, eight tackles and two sacks vs. ranked Fordham, and seven tackles and two TFLs at ranked Holy Cross.
DeNucci earned Second Team All-Patriot League honors.
Per PFF, DeNucci’s overall defensive grade was 82.5 with a run-defense grade of 81.6, a pass-rush grade of 81.7, and a 70.7 coverage grade.
His 82.5 grade is the 12th-highest for a returning FCS linebacker.