Wentz’s success with the Eagles not surprising to Bison starting quarterback
FARGO — The NFL roll that Carson Wentz is on with the Philadelphia Eagles is turning into an MVP-like season. And to think it was only two years ago when he was roaming the halls of the Fargodome with the rest of the Bison quarterbacks.
Obviously, Easton Stick is paying attention to his friend.
“Every time you get on social media or I get the ESPN updates on my phone, every other one is Carson Wentz,” Stick said. “Just the notoriety he brings our community, his community back home in Bismarck, the state of North Dakota, ‘North Dakota Tough’ — all that stuff — it’s been cool to follow him.”
The two stay in touch periodically, although Stick said the conversations are more about non-football stuff.
“We have a lot of similar interests outside of football,” he said.
But inside of football, Stick said he’s both surprised and not surprised at the level of success Wentz has had.
“I want to say it does, but just knowing Carson and the physical abilities that he has and on top of that how hard he works and how mentally sharp he is, I’m not surprised,” Stick said. “I was able to be around him a little bit this summer when he was working out and he was doing some pretty impressive things with the workouts. I think they have a really good coaching staff and the team continues to add pieces.”
Stick redshirted his freshman year when Wentz led the Bison to the 2014 title and was his primary backup as a redshirt freshman in 2015 when NDSU won its fifth straight. Stick went 8-0 as the starter in place of the injured Wentz before Wentz came back for the title game.
QB Davis hoping to return
Stick’s primary backup, senior Cole Davis, has gone through a tough season missing most of it with a shoulder injury. Davis was hurt in the second half against Robert Morris University (Pa.) in September and hasn’t returned since.
He’s hoping he’ll be activated for the second-round FCS playoff game against the University of San Diego.
“I’m telling myself these are the last games of my college career and I’m ready to roll,” Davis said. “Whether it’s being fully healthy or just healthy enough, I’m getting out there and be ready to play.”
Davis was the team’s holder on extra points and field goals, but relinquished that job to punter Jackson Koonce after he got hurt. He said he’s not sure if he’ll get that role back against the Toreros.
“That will be up to the coaches,” Davis said, “but I can definitely hold if they need me. But that is their decision.”
Safety James Hendricks, a quarterback his first two years at NDSU, has been the No. 2 option behind Stick in recent weeks.
“It’s been fun to watch him being all over the field,” Davis said. “They’ve been giving him the ins and outs of the game plan because they know he has a lot on his plate defensively, whether it’s playing linebacker, safety, defensive end, defensive tackle or whatever it may be that week. If he can just be ready to go in and play quarterback and if I can help him out in any way, I’ll be there for him.”
Never too late to be head coach
Dale Lindsey’s coaching stops have taken him all across the country and then some, with his latest being one of the most successful. Since taking over as the head coach the University of San Diego five years ago, the Toreros have gone 46-12 with two victories in the FCS playoffs.
His coaching stints include assistant positions in the CFL, NFL and the World Football League in addition to the NCAA FBS level at Southern Methodist and New Mexico State. But he was never a head coach until San Diego promoted him. He’ll turn 75 years old in January.
Lindsey was asked if he wishes he became a head coach sooner.
“I probably would have messed it up, I was head strong and thought I had all the answers,” he said. “When I got this job, I didn’t even have questions. There was a time I felt I would have liked to have gotten a job like this 20 years ago or sooner, but it wasn’t in the cards and I’m lucky to get a good job like this one.”