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46 MINUS 4 DAYS TO 2021 KICKOFF: Jace Friesen

In which BracketCat counts down the 46th day until the 2021 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State defensive end Jace Friesen.

#46 Jayd Kirby
No. 46 used to be more of a linebacker number, as modeled here by Jayd Kirby (46) and previously by such greats as the late Brandon Archer. But with sophomore walk-on Jace Friesen’s pre-2020 jersey switch, it now belongs to a defensive end instead.
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#46 Jace Friesen

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-2 | 239 lbs. | Basehor, Kansas
Jace Friesen
Jace Friesen
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive End/Long Snapper
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Special Teams
  • Status: Preferred Walk-On

Jace Aaron Friesen (b. June 8, 2001) is a preferred walk-on defensive end from Basehor-Linwood High School who redshirted in 2019. He is majoring in communications studies.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Friesen saw time on field goal protection in K-State’s win at No. 3 Oklahoma. He projects again as a special teams player entering 2021.

A four-year letter-winner at Basehor-Linwood under head coach Rod Stallbaumer, Friesen helped the Bobcats to earn a combined 30-5 record over his final three seasons, including a pair of league championships.

He picked up first-team all-state honors as a senior from The Topeka Capital-Journal and the Kansas Football Coaches Association, while he was an honorable mention pick by The Wichita Eagle as both a junior and senior.

Friesen was named the defensive Most Valuable Player of the United Kansas Conference as a senior and earned the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Award in 2018.

He also was a finalist for the Bobby Bell Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding lineman or linebacker in the small-class high schools of the Kansas City area.

Friesen combined for 150 tackles and 14 sacks over his final two seasons, was selected to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl, and also competed in basketball and track.

Born in Manhattan, he is the son of Andrew and Julie Friesen, both of whom attended K-State, and a cousin of Jon McGraw, who lettered at K-State from 1998 to 2001 and played 10 years in the NFL with the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs.