DICKINSON, N.D. - Bismarck graduate Hayden Gibson had one thing on his mind when he arrived at Dickinson State.
"I mean, when I came in here I just wanted to win and it’s been like that ever since," said Gibson, senior quarterback.
Gibson has led the Blue Hawks to conference championships every season since he's taken over as the starting quarterback, breaking school records on the way. This past week, he set new single game team records with 63 pass attempts and 40 completions, helping him earn the NAIA National Football Offensive Player of the Week.
"I think the big thing with him is first of all he's never going to win a 40 race. I think people are always looking at him as he's not going to scramble, he's not going to do these flashy things, but when you look at the stat line at the end of the game and he's completing over 65% of our passes and doing it a very high ratio and that's the big thing for us that and his leadership," said Pete Stanton, Blue Hawks head football coach.
Gibson also holds records for most yards in a game, season and career. Tyger Frye has been his go to wide receiver. Frye says it's Hayden's preparation off the field that separates him from the rest.
"I think probably the biggest thing he brings to the table is, you know, the mental aspect of the game too, He's always in there watching film. I wouldn't say anyone else prepares any harder than he does. I think he leads the team, especially when it comes to the film room preparing before you even step on the field. He brings the energy everyday. He's one of those guys that the entire team, not just the offense, is going to follow and, you know, how he practices is how we're going to practice," said Frye.
His head coach will miss the reassurance of having Gibson under center.
"His leadership and his accountability, just his demeanor. You get into two-a-days and just that comfort level of knowing, hey, here's a guy who we are confident in, here's a guy who's a great leader and a good person and, you know, just take that for granted sometimes and I think we will notice it most when he's gone," said Stanton.
But he won’t have to miss having Gibson's knowledge on the Blue Hawks sidelines.
"Right now I'm thinking I'm going to GA here, become a coach here, grad assistant and from there maybe coach college," said Gibson.
"I think he's going to step into that role awesome, and I mean everyone respects him enough where that's not going to be a transition for him. We're all going to see him just as we see him now; he's a player coach right now so it’s not going to be any different just coaching," said Frye.
Gibson and the Hawks end the regular season at home against Mayville State on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 MT.