Wentz says he still values his friendship with Bison's Stick

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and current North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick, shown here during a workout at NDSU in the summer of 2017, remain close friends. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — Carson Wentz was driving home from the Philadelphia Eagles practice facility on Thursday night, and it’s doubtful he pulled into the local Walmart to pick up some essentials. It’s not the way life works for the former North Dakota State quarterback anymore.

It’s why guys like Easton Stick are so important to him.

“He understands that new ‘celebrity’ status that comes with the NFL,” Wentz said. “Having a guy like that who you knew before, you were close to before, you value that friendship.”

Both are currently locked in postseason runs: The Eagles trying to make the playoffs and the Bison in Saturday’s quarterfinal against Colgate at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. It’s a safe bet Wentz will be paying close attention.

They’ve valued their friendship since the day Stick stepped on the NDSU campus in 2014 out of Creighton Prep High School in Omaha, Neb. They’ve remained close over the years, bonded by the combination of faith and football.


Wentz’s inner circle is tight, mostly based with his AO1 Foundation in Philadelphia. It consists of his older brother, Zach Wentz, former Bison quarterback Cole Davis and former NDSU multimedia director Ryan Nelson.
That group, in a way, includes Stick. Stick and Wentz lived together for a couple of months one summer early in Stick’s career. Stick was in Wentz’s wedding last summer.

“Having people in your inner circle, you have to be smart,” Wentz said. “A guy like Easton, we’re so similar in what we’ve done and what we do with football. He’s still in school, but hopefully he gets a chance at the next level. Our faith and values are so similar. Finding like-minded people and also people you’ve worked with in the past and, really, trust with your life - we’ve been fortunate. It’s tough to find the right people, but when you do you try and lock them in.”

With Wentz’s NFL career in full gear and Stick’s NDSU career in its final stages, Wentz took some time this week to reflect on the Bison career of Stick, who will leave as one of the all-time best quarterbacks at the school.

The Bison have had a run of three straight at the position. Brock Jensen is the all-time quarterback wins leader in the FCS with 48. Wentz, Jensen’s backup for two years, won two national titles in 2014 and 2015.

Stick is 46-3 as a starter and has a chance to supplant Jensen’s FCS wins record. He’s come a long way since he and Wentz first met each other.

“He was young, just a kid,” Wentz said. “First of all, you saw his personality and how hard he worked in the weight room and how willing he was to learn. He was extremely attentive and wanted to learn and ask questions. He was hungry to understand the game and he reminded me of myself in that regard when I was young.”

Stick redshirted his first season while Wentz led the Bison to a 15-1 record and a fourth straight FCS championship. Stick was the backup as a redshirt freshman when 2015 began. It didn’t start out so well. NDSU lost the season opener 38-35 at Montana.

The downer was a 24-21 loss at home to South Dakota, a game in which Wentz hurt his wrist that sidelined him for almost three months.


Stick went 8-0 in his place, Wentz returned for the title game against Jacksonville State and the Bison had their fifth consecutive title.

The next year, with Wentz trying to prove himself as an NFL rookie, is when Stick really took off, Wentz said.

“You could just tell he was playing faster and at a different level,” he said. “Just talking to him on the phone he had an understanding of the game that was much deeper. He’s developed that more and more each year.”

Most of their football talk these days is done in the offseason. Once the NFL season gets cranking, communication is the occasional phone call or text message. Out of season, they’ve gotten together for workouts.

“He wants to pick my brain on what we’re doing,” Wentz said. “But I’m intrigued on what they’re doing half the time, too. It’s good stuff.”

“We’re as close as you can get being far away,” Wentz said.

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