Carson Wentz is now a household name for most NFL fans, but who exactly is Easton Stick?
If you hadn’t followed NDSU football that closely until Wentz brought all kinds of national attention to the program in the lead up to the NFL Draft, you’ve probably never heard of the sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska.
But if you’re a Bison football diehard, you know Stick is one of the reasons the Bison offense is in good hands following Wentz’s departure.
Let’s give a brief history lesson to those just jumping on the NDSU bandwagon.
Long before Wentz was running up draft boards, he was sitting on the sidelines nursing a broken wrist that cost him eight games in his senior season.
While he sat out, Stick – then a freshman – led the Bison to back-to-back road wins at Indiana State and Southern Illinois.
Those wins sparked an 8-0 run for Stick and the Bison that lasted all the way through the NCAA semifinals, before Wentz returned and guided the Bison to their fifth straight national championship.
He wasn’t just riding his teammates’ coattails, either. Stick ran for three touchdowns against Indiana State and broke 100 yards rushing in each of his first two games under center.
By the time it was all said and done, Stick completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also ran for 498 yards and five more scores and was named to the Missouri Valley’s All-Newcomer Team.
Not bad for a guy no one knows about.
Stick is so well respected among his teammates that he was named a captain this season – as a sophomore. Something like that hasn’t happened at NDSU since Steve Walker was named a captain in 2005.
“It’s pretty special, we have a lot of really good leaders on this team,” Stick told the Fargo Forum.
But it doesn’t sound like Stick is going to be sneaking up on Charleston Southern on Saturday at the Fargo Dome.
Saturday’s season opener will be the 3rd annual FCS Kickoff on ESPN – the second straight appearance for NDSU, who lost 38-35 at Montana last year.