Easton Stick’s phone buzzed nonstop throughout the day after the Chargers took him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
However, one text message stuck out more than the rest.
It came from one of his new teammates…one who is a near lock to one day enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Yes, we’re talking about Philip Rivers.
As you can imagine, Stick was pretty psyched that number 17 reached out to him right away.
“He sent me a text after the draft,” Stick shared. “That was cool. I really appreciated that. I haven't gotten a chance to meet him yet, so I'm looking forward to meeting him and, really, all of the guys…. (The text said,) ‘Congrats and looking forward to getting you here.' That was cool."
Stick will meet Rivers face-to-face next week when the entire 90-man roster takes the field for a Phase II practice. But first, he’s busy taking part in the Bolts’ rookie minicamp, which kicked off Friday at Hoag Performance Center.
So, how did Stick look in his first NFL practice?
Well, you can count Head Coach Anthony Lynn an early fan.
"He looked good, especially on the move,” Lynn said. “I liked some of the things that he did. I thought he had a good day."
Stick wasn’t ready to evaluate his personal play, but he admitted he had a blast slinging the ball around.
"It was fun,” he said. “We had the rain coming down in beautiful Southern California. It was good just to be around the guys. By the end of the practice, you're a little bit more comfortable just speaking the language, getting in the huddle. At the end of the day, it's football. It was fun to finally be back to doing some of that stuff."
While he took the field with brand new teammates, there was one familiar face to be found…and it just happened to be the man snapping him the ball. Undrafted free agent Tanner Volson served the same role alongside Stick at North Dakota State, so the quarterback was all smiles to once again line up under the same center.
"It makes it easier going out on the grass and you're not worried about the quarterback-center exchange,” Stick said. “That stuff was good. It's awesome having a familiar face. It just makes the transition maybe a little bit more comfortable. Tanner is awesome. He has worked really hard to get here, so I'm excited for him."
Stick’s college resume has been much discussed after the Bolts took him with the 166th overall selection, including how he won over the team throughout the pre-draft process. The North Dakota State product went 49-3 during his time with the Bison, which began as a backup to current Philadelphia Eagles’ star Carson Wentz.
Chargers rookies donned the lightning bolt for the first time as members of the Bolts.
The pair of passers remain in close contact to this day. In fact, Wentz offered some words of wisdom to his former teammate before he arrived at rookie minicamp.
“I'm kind of always in contact with him,” Stick said. “He has been really good to me going all the way back to Fargo when I first got to North Dakota State. He's been great to me, especially throughout this process…. (He told me) just be yourself and just continue to do what has gotten you here. That's working hard and, hopefully, treating people the right way. I think those are the two biggest things. You can't come out and try to reinvent yourself or be somebody that you're not. People see through that stuff and it won't allow you to be successful. Just work hard and learn."
Work hard and learn is a motto Stick stressed repeatedly during his session with the media.
Speaking for nearly seven minutes, he routinely emphasized the need to put his head down and soak in as much as possible over this pivotal three-day span.
"I think it's huge, especially going into next week and you're (with the veterans),” he noted. “They're into this thing, they're rolling and they're ready to push it forward. This weekend is huge for all of us to soak up as much as we can, get our feet wet and take advantage of those reps. Like you said, the way I'm approaching it is that it's just an opportunity to learn. We'll see how quickly I can learn to just speak the language so that I can just sit in the room, speak and understand what's going on — then start to translate it out there on the grass."