Welcome to the 2019 FCS Kickoff Jersey Countdown.
The regular season begins Saturday, Aug. 24 with Samford vs. Youngstown State in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff along with Villanova playing at Colgate.
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HERO Sports is going to count down each day by highlighting the best player in the FCS who wears the jersey number equal to the number of days until kickoff. You can find the running list of top players here.
*Note: Jersey numbers are from the 2018 season.
64: Chris Schlichting, OL (Sr.) — Eastern Washington
Several factors played a part in the Eagles getting over the semifinal hump in 2018. The improved physicality of the offensive line is one of them. Expect that unit to be even better this season.
EWU returns four o-linemen with significant starting experience. Kaleb Levao and Spencer Blackburn, who is the best No. 75 in the FCS, received a sixth year of eligibility. Tristen Taylor returns from injury. And also back with a mountain of experience is Schlichting.
The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder has started in all of EWU's 40 games played since 2016. His versatility has been key, if not a hugely underrated part, of the team's explosive offense. As a redshirt freshman, Schlichting started 12 games at LG and the other two at RT. In 2017, it was two games at LT and nine at RT. Last year, he held down the right tackle spot as EWU went 12-3.
Schlichting finally got the respect he deserved, earning 2018 Second Team All-Big Sky Conference honors. Expect more to come his way in 2019.
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