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46 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Jace Friesen

In which BracketCat counts down the 46th day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State defensive end Jace Friesen.

#46 Jace Friesen
Senior defensive end Jace Friesen (46) proved to be a reliable special teams contributor in 2022, but he also earned time as a reserve defensive end against South Dakota and against Alabama.
Photo by John Bunch/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 Senior | 6-2 | 240 lbs. | Basehor, Kansas
Jace Friesen
Jace Friesen
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive End/Long Snapper
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Third-String
  • 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 earned his degree from Kansas State in communication studies in May and currently is working on his minor in conflict resolution.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Friesen saw time on field goal protection in K-State’s win at No. 3 Oklahoma.

Friesen then played in four games on both special teams and as a reserve defensive end in 2021. He carded two tackles — one apiece against Nevada and TCU — and recorded half a sack against the Wolf Pack while also earning first-team Academic All-Big 12 accolades.

Friesen played in all 14 games of 2022 on special teams, but he also earned time as a reserve defensive end against South Dakota and in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. He carded one tackle against the Coyotes and was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 performer.

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 both former K-State offensive lineman Tomasi Mariner and legendary walk-on-turned-scholarship safety 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.

Friesen’s mother, Julie, was a four-year letter-winner on the K-State track and field team, while his grandfather, Earl Meyer, was a four-year football letter-winner from 1951 to 1954, playing alongside Veryl Switzer. Read more about his uniquely purple family history here.