The 2019 NFL quarterback draft prospect class has already come under scrutiny for being an underwhelming class with very few potential franchise gunslingers. Have no fear, there could be a diamond in the rough with this particular player who has the ability to change the game not only with his arm, but his legs as well.
Since the 2011 season, this college football program has boasted an astounding 99-8 record including wins against Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, and Colorado State. This program once held the longest consecutive winning streak in all divisions at 33. Several alumni have taken the next step to play at the professional level. This school has won six national titles since 2011 and produced the No. 2 overall pick and highest ever drafted Football Championship Series (FCS) player Carson Wentz. That’s right, we’re talking about the North Dakota State Bison. The Bison have had a string of great collegiate quarterbacks from Brock Jensen (three national titles) to Wentz (two national titles) to now the next great Bison quarterback, Easton Stick (one national title so far).
Like Wentz, Stick started his tenure in a Bison uniform as the backup quarterback. Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Stick and high school teammate RJ Urzendowski (Stick’s now favorite target at NDSU) committed to play for the Bison in 2013. Stick redshirted his freshman year and had his coming out party in his redshirt freshman year when an unfortunate wrist injury sidelined Wentz for a majority of the year. During his call-up to starting quarterback status, Stick led the Bison to eight consecutive victories en route to a berth in the 2015 National Title game where Wentz returned to play his final game in a Bison uniform. Stick finished the year 90-for-147 with 1,144 yards, to go along with a 13:4 touchdown to interception ratio, all while rushing for 498 yards and five scores on the ground in just eight games of action (per NDSU Bison Football).
Taking over the reigns of the Bison offense in 2016, Stick had the opportunity to lead the Bison to an unprecedented sixth consecutive national championship birth. After finishing the regular season 10-1, Stick and the Bison fell one game short of history, falling to the national champions, the James Madison Dukes by a score of 27-17. Stick finished the year 169-for-288 with 2,331 yards and a 19:9 touchdown to interception ratio. Stick galloped for 685 yards and seven scores with his feet, finishing third on the team.
In 2017, Stick and the Bison offense came out with a vengeance, winning their first eight games, averaging 42+ points per game while holding opponents to only 10 points per game. After a slip up in a rivalry game in week nine, Stick and company rebounded to win six consecutive games to hoist their sixth national championship in seven years, avenging their loss to James Madison in the title game by a score of 17-13. Stick finished the year with an incredible 169.5 efficiency rating, going 164-for-264 for 2,466 yards and a 28:8 touchdown to interception ratio while running for 663 yards and 12 more scores on the ground. For comparison, Wentz finished his NDSU career with a 153.4 passer rating.
Stick, who stands 6’2 while weighing 225 pounds, has the tools to be a legit NFL quarterback given the right opportunity. He has a laser rocket arm, yet has the ability to create plays with his legs. Right now, Walterfootball.com ranks Stick as the No. 12 quarterback prospect in the 2019 draft class. Read their article on why Stick could be a riser in draft boards come next spring. One thing is for sure, Stick has been a winner since day one, which the NFL gushes over when it comes to quarterback evaluation, and will have the opportunity to lead NDSU to another national championship this fall and could be the NFL’s next big time franchise quarterback.