Asking for a Mount Rushmore of the best quarterbacks in North Dakota State football history would see several different results from several different Bison fans. NDSU now has 15 total program national championships with a 38-24 win against Eastern Washington for its seventh FCS national title in eight years. That type of success comes with great quarterbacks.
You have Jeff Bentrim and Chris Simdorn during the Division II days. Then there’s Steve Walker during the Division I transition in the mid-2000s. The 2010s have produced the likes of Brock Jensen, who set the FCS career record in wins. A guy called Carson Wentz took over after NDSU won three straight national titles and he won two more. And for these last 3.5 years, it’s been Easton Stick, who just broke Jensen’s record no one thought would be touched.
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Stick finished his Bison career today with another win. His record sits at a ridiculous 49-3. He has two national championship rings as a starter and you can basically add a third for leading the 2015 team to the title game.
Stick’s career and legacy have been unreal, even by NDSU’s standards. And because of this, Easton Stick should be considered the greatest Bison quarterback of all time.
“The Bison have had great quarterbacks, and he’s going to be remembered as one of the better ones,” NDSU quarterbacks coach Randy Hedberg told HERO Sports after the EWU win. “When it’s all said and done, the most important record is the record of wins. I think that’s what he’s going to cherish the most.”
Now, everyone should understand that the GOAT conversation is always subjective. Variables are weighted differently by each individual, whether it’s wins, broken records, the clutch gene, rings or overall talent. This is why the MJ vs. LeBron debate can never be truly settled.
Wentz, who was drafted No. 2 overall by Philadelphia, is quite clearly the most gifted quarterback in NDSU history. But Stick’s legacy he leaves behind at NDSU is unmatched.
He allowed Wentz to have one more game as a senior by going 8-0 in 2015 as a redshirt freshman. Stick led the fourth-quarter comeback against Iowa the next year in NDSU’s most impressive win in program history.
A season later, some Bison fans questioned Stick because of his so-so performance in the 2016 semifinal loss to James Madison. But he answered those critics — who some remained vocal in 2017 after SDSU defeated the Bison for the second straight regular season while Stick threw three interceptions — by being at the top of his game in the playoffs and bringing home another national title while getting revenge on JMU.
Stick was electric as a senior this year and had many saying he’s the best player in the FCS, although the Walter Payton Award voting placed him third. The votes were counted before people saw him score a combined six rushing touchdowns and throw for three more in the semifinals and championship game.
“He’s had an outstanding career,” Hedberg said. “49-3 as a starting quarterback. I don’t know what else you can say. He’s a winner and a competitor. He’s just off the charts.”
Not only did Stick show he’s the best player in the subdivision this year, but he showed he’s the best quarterback in Bison history.
The numbers back it up: 8,693 career yards passing with 88 touchdowns to 28 interceptions along with 2,523 yards rushing with 41 more scores.
The individual accolades back it up as well: a first-team All-American and Top 3 Walter Payton Award finalist, something no NDSU FCS quarterback has done before.
And not to mention how he carries himself off the field is just as impressive.
No Bison legacy matches Easton Stick’s.
He is the GOAT.