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.
[divider]MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
- FCS Home
- The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
- Preseason Top 25 Poll
- Preseason All-American Teams
- Team By Team & Conference Previews
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.
53: Cole Karcz, DL (Sr.) — North Dakota State
Karcz may not be listed as a returning starter for the Bison, but he's been a huge part of the defensive line rotation. Not many FCS teams have the luxury of subbing four guys in and four guys out like a hockey line on the defensive front and see little to no drop-off.
Now Karcz is ready to step into a starting role. He worked his way into the rotation toward the end of his freshman year in 2016 and saw more action the next year. Last season was the breakthrough year. At 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, Karcz can play defensive tackle and defensive end in certain situations. His versatility was utilized in a big way in 2018, and he totaled 28 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
Karcz was a 2018 Missouri Valley Football Conference honorable mention selection.
What has allowed the Bison to win seven of the last eight national titles is the ability to plug holes in the starting lineup with upperclassmen who bided their time and developed. Karcz is the perfect example of how the NDSU defense will reload this year.
HOW BOUT THAT BISON DEFENSE?!?!
Spencer Waege and Cole Karcz with a big fourth-down stop in the third quarter. @NDSUfootball protects the 24-7 lead. pic.twitter.com/yJZ6TzCjkH
— VNL Sports (@vnlsports) October 14, 2018
NEXT: The Best Traditions in the FCS
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast