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.
96: Nick Friedel, DL (Jr.) — San Diego
The Toreros are loaded with talent year after year and once again went 8-0 in the Pioneer Football League last season. Their last conference loss came on Oct. 10, 2015. While San Diego's 37.83 points per game last year grabbed most of the headlines, Friedel was solid from his defensive end spot.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder finished 2018 with 36 tackles, 21 solo, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, seven QB hurries and one interception. His play was recognized with a First Team All-Conference selection while also being named a HERO Sports Sophomore All-American honorable mention.
Friedel ended the season playing the best ball of his career. In the final four games, including the first-round playoff loss to Nicholls, he had 7.5 tackles for loss and all 3.5 of his sacks. If he picks up where he left off, 2019 will be a huge season for Friedel.
Q3 | Nick Friedel with the STOP in the backfield for a loss of 2!#GoToreros pic.twitter.com/teRag5HNCi
— San Diego Football (@USDFootball) October 13, 2018
NEXT: The Best Traditions in the FCS
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