Air Force football spotlight player - Nick Fitzgerald, defensive lineman

November 7, 2013 Updated: November 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm
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photo - Air Force defensive lineman Nick Fitzgerald sacks New Mexico quarterback B.R. Holbrook during the first quarter of a game at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday, October 20, 2012. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
Air Force defensive lineman Nick Fitzgerald sacks New Mexico quarterback B.R. Holbrook during the first quarter of a game at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday, October 20, 2012. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) 

It's rare that a player seems happy to have his playing time reduced, but Fitzgerald is willing to give up a few snaps in exchange for rest.

The Air Force defensive end has seen the Falcons go through numerous turnover on their three-man defensive front, with starters Joseph Champaign, Robert Green and David Harris among those who have missed significant time with injuries. Everybody is back now, so the Falcons can use the rotations they had intended to employ from the start.

"A lot of us were having to take a lot or reps, maybe more than usual," Fitzgerald said. "It gets you tired and worn down, and as much as you want to say that it doesn't affect you and you're still giving it your all throughout the whole game - it does. If you've got a little bit fresher legs then things can happen."

That extra push seemed evident in the second half against Army last week, as the defensive line was instramental in limiting the Black Knights to seven points in the second half.

Fitzgerald, who blocked a field goal against Army, has been enjoying a late-season surge. Over the past four games he has been involved in 19 tackles after having a hand in just nine over the first five games.

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