COSTA MESA, Calif. — Former North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick made a good first impression on his new head coach.
Stick was on the practice field for the Los Angeles Chargers on Friday along with fellow rookies for Day 1 of the three-day rookie minicamp. The Chargers selected Stick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, which concluded on April 27.
"He looked good, especially on the move," Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. "I liked some of the things he did. ... I thought he had a good day."
Stick is one of the Chargers' seven draft picks to take part in the minicamp along with 19 undrafted free agents and other selected invites. Rookie minicamp is the first opportunity coaches have to work with rookies on and off the field.
“Obviously, it is a lot. It’s a new environment,” Stick said. “You’re around new guys. You’re getting into the huddle and you met a guy five minutes ago. It’s just a different dynamic.”
From Omaha, Neb., Stick was the selected No. 166 overall in the NFL Draft after a successful four-year career at NDSU.
“As a rookie, it’s just about learning,” Stick said. “Listening more than talking and working your tail off. If you do those two things, if you’re listening, you’re working hard, hopefully you earn the respect of the guys who have been here for a long time.”
Stick was asked about his relationship with former Bison teammate Carson Wentz, who is now the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Stick said Wentz has been a good resource as he’s transitioned from the college game to the NFL.
“Carson’s a good friend,” Stick said. “We talk a decent amount so, kind of always in contact with him. He’s been really good to me going back all the way back to Fargo.”
Former Bison offensive lineman Tanner Volson is also taking part in Chargers rookie minicamp. The 6-foot-4, 303-pound center played in 58 games for NDSU in his four seasons. Stick said it was good to see Volson get a chance with the Chargers.
“It’s awesome having a familiar face,” Stick said. “Tanner’s awesome.”
Stick said he hasn’t met with Chargers veteran quarterback Philip Rivers yet, but has had an interaction with the multiple-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
“He sent me a text after the draft and that was cool. I really appreciated that,” Stick said. “I haven’t got a chance to meet him yet. Looking forward to meeting him and really all the guys.”
Thursday, former NDSU head coach Chris Klieman was on the Chargers Weekly podcast and compared Stick to Wentz. Klieman, now the head coach at Kansas State, coached both Wentz and Stick at NDSU.
“Probably the smartest guy I’ve ever been around and I coached Carson Wentz as well,” Klieman said of Stick on the podcast. “And so that’s a big thing to say.”
Stick posted a 49-3 record as the starting quarterback for the Bison, helping the team win three NCAA Division I FCS championships in his final four seasons in the program. He was the starting quarterback for NDSU in the past two national title games.
“This weekend is huge for all of us to soak up as much as you can,” Stick said.
Lynn said the goals for the three days of rookie minicamp is for players to learn how to be a professional and grow up.
“These guys they’ve just got to get obsessed with learning this system and these schemes,” Lynn said. “But right now, their heads are spinning.”
Lynn said Stick looked good under center in his first practice time with the Chargers.
"He was under center probably more than a lot of these quarterbacks in college," Lynn said. "He had no problems today underneath the center. He was fine. I like the way he moved around a little bit in the pocket."