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With the Kansas State football team just 46 days away from kicking off against Stanford at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Collegian looks at No. 46 on the roster, Jace Friesen.
A 6 foot 2 inch, 238-pound sophomore defensive end out of Basehor, Kansas, Friesen was recruited to play at K-State in 2019 as a preferred walk-on. He redshirted his freshman year and played against No. 3 Oklahoma this past season as a part of the field goal protection team.
While playing at Basehor-Linwood High School, Friesen was a four-year letter winner, earning two league titles and helping the Bobcats go 30-5 from his sophomore to senior season. Friesen won plenty of awards during his time at Basehor-Linwood, and his stats back those awards. He recorded 150 tackles and 14 sacks throughout his junior and senior seasons.
As a senior, Friesen won the United Kansas Conference defensive MVP award, was picked to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl and was the recipient of first-team all-state honors from the Kansas Football Coaches Association. Aside from football, Friesen played on the basketball and track teams.
Countdown to Kickoff: 47 days away with defensive end Cody Stufflebean
Friesen announced via Twitter on Feb. 6, 2019, that he would continue his career at K-State. This was after receiving offers from Drake University and William Jewell College.
I will be continuing my athletic and academic career at Kansas State University!!😈💜 Thank you to all my family members and coaches that have helped me along the way!! @spedbraet @Travis_Britz #EMAW pic.twitter.com/BLFhDIgADC
— Jace Friesen (@FriesenJace) February 6, 2019
Despite seeing little playing time, Friesen has earned plenty of awards thanks to his work on and off the field. On April 13, 2021, Friesen was awarded Student-Athlete of the Week by K-State football and was a Scout Team Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 13, 2020.
Student-Athlete of the Week ⤵️
Jace Friesen (@FriesenJace)#KStateFB pic.twitter.com/ywgQIPCGME
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) April 13, 2021
Scout Team Players of the Week ⤵️
Witt Mitchum (@Wittmitchum1)
Parker Bruce (@ParkerBruce_ )
Kaelen Shankle (@KJS28_)
Derek Bowman (@BowmanDerek)
Jace Friesen (@FriesenJace)#KStateFB ⚒ Pound The Stone pic.twitter.com/VPvfsp6cdS
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) October 13, 2020
Friesen’s parents both attended K-State, and he is also a cousin of Jon McGraw, a K-State football player from 1998-2001. McGraw was a walk-on safety at K-State before becoming a starter in 2000 and earning Big 12 Honorable Mention honors.
McGraw also had a 10-year NFL career, playing for the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and ending his career as a Kansas City Chief.
Although playing a different position than his cousin, Friesen has the chance to continue his family’s legacy at K-State if he can become a starter as McGraw did over 20 years ago.