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'He's one of the funniest guys on the team'; NDSU's Luepke saves his talking for the field

The 2022 FCS Championship Game Most Outstanding Player has seen his life change drastically in the last eight months.

North Dakota State's Hunter Luepke breaks free for a touchdown run against Montana State during the FCS title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
David Samson/ The Forum
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FARGO - On the outside, to the TV cameras, Hunter Luepke doesn't appear to be the most outgoing player on the Bison football roster.

His answers in press conferences or interview settings normally are made up a few words.

Luepke has saved his talking for the field. When asked about talking about himself and the accolades he's received as one of North Dakota State's top players, it was an obvious answer.

"Probably from the camera standpoint, it would look that way. Actually I'm not that shy of a guy, I like to hang out with the guys and have a good time." Luepke said.

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Life has changed dramatically from the senior fullback. He had a playoff run for all-time, scoring six touchdowns in a three game span, including three in the national title game against Montana State.


North Dakota State fullback Hunter Luepke married his longtime girlfriend Sadie, in a ceremony in May. Photo submitted to Dom Izzo, WDAY Sports.

He followed that up by marrying his longtime girlfriend, Sadie in May. After that it's been preseason accolades and some early NFL attention.

Luepke's teammates say there's a completely different side that we don't get to see.

"I'm sure you see the quiet guy in front of the cameras, the one that likes to smash guys. But to us he's a big goofball, he's a funny guy." said senior tight end Noah Gindorff.

Fellow senior Cody Mauch echoed that. "Once he opens up, he's hilarious. It takes a little bit, but once he does, he's one of the biggest jokesters on the team."

There's no joke that Luepke is being considered as an NFL Draft pick. Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy already has his eyes on the Spencer, Wisconsin native.

"There's a fullback up there, one we like. Hunter Luepke. What a better place to find a fullback than Fargo, North Dakota?" Nagy said.

Luepke's statistics speak for themselves.

He's played in 33 career games for the Bison and has scored a remarkable 20 touchdowns, 11 of them coming in the 2021 fall season.


"It's been one of my dreams since I arrived on campus, to play in the NFL. I'm not a finished product, I know I have got a lot of work to do."

There may be work for Luepke still to do, but for the people that know him best, he's the total package.

North Dakota State's Hunter Luepke scores the first touchdown against Montana State during the FCS title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
David Samson/ The Forum

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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