Photo special to Bison Illustrated
Welcome to the countdown to Frisco! Starting Christmas Day with a “The Twelve Days of Christmas” theme, we’ll feature a Bison football player per day who had a memorable FCS Championship game. Join us as we countdown these remarkable memories and get ready for the big game Jan. 6!
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Nick DeLuca was thrown into his first FCS Championship game start against Illinois State after linebacker Travis Beck tore his Achilles in the regular season finale. He showed early it wasn’t too soon for the true sophomore to make an impact on defense. The following season solidified that sense around the country. DeLuca developed into one of the top linebackers in the country.
His talents were put on display at the highest stage in Frisco against Eli Jenkins and the dynamic Jacksonville State offense.
The Bison defense forced five turnovers and cruised to a 37-10 victory in Carson Wentz’s farewell game. But what was missed during the—much-deserved—praise of Wentz & Co. was junior middle linebacker DeLuca.
The Omaha native capped an All-American season with nine tackles, a diving interception and a forced fumble. Collectively, the Bison defense held Jacksonville State to 204 total yards.
DeLuca was the heart of the Bison defensive machine that day and now has turned into one of the leaders on the field.