Easton Stick And The Face Of The Chargers
Philip Rivers has been the face of the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers since 2006. Recently, due to his advanced age, there has been some debate whether the Chargers would pick his successor in the NFL Draft. They answered by picking Easton Stick from North Dakota State University in the 5th round of the NFL Draft. While he comes from a small school, it is the same school which groomed Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Is Easton Stick the future of the Los Angeles Chargers?
He was a two-year starter at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska. He threw 37 touchdowns against just nine interceptions during his career. He proved to be a threat on the ground by rushing for 950 yards and 23 touchdowns.
The team made the playoffs both years he was a starter. He was named first team all-state and academic all-state both years. He was named MVP of the 2014 Nebraska Shrine Game by passing for 124 yards, rushing for 94 yards and scoring a touchdown. In addition to football, he was also a member of the baseball and track teams.
After redshirting in 2014 he was supposed to backup Carson Wentz in 2015 when disaster struck. Wentz broke his wrist early in the year and Stick was called to action. He did a phenomenal job and led the team deep in the playoffs when Wentz became healthy enough to play again. Wentz led the team to their fifth straight national championship as Stick looked on in admiration and resolved to continue the winning tradition of the North Dakota State Bison.
He was unable to lead the team to the national championship the following year but he still put up impressive numbers with 19 touchdown passes against just nine interceptions. The team rebounded the following two seasons with back to back national championships. Stick was consistent in both years with 56 touchdown passes against 15 interceptions to finish the final two years of his college career. He was an excellent scrambler, rushing for 2,523 yards and 41 touchdowns in four years.
Potential In The NFL
Before Carson Wentz was drafted, few knew if a quarterback could adapt to the NFL out of North Dakota State University. Wentz shocked the NFL and nearly won the MVP in 2017. Stick comes from the same system as Wentz and is nearly as successful having led the Bison to two national championships and two other playoff berths. He completed 61% of his passes during his career and was consistent in a pro-style offense. While the Bison play in a less competitive division of college football, they prepare their players well for the NFL.
Easton Stick did not have huge passing numbers in college but he showed the attributes NFL teams desire of their franchise quarterback. He never got rattled after taking a sack and could fit the ball in a small space at critical moments of the game. He displayed his willingness to be mentored by older players when he took over for Wentz in the middle of the 2015 season. Wentz tutored him while he recovered from his broken wrist.
Philip Rivers is the Chargers leader right now but he can be a great mentor for Stick. If Stick can display the attributes he showed in college then he will become the face of the Los Angeles Chargers when Rivers retires.