SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU)- Leading West Lyon to a Class 1A State championship his senior year, quarterback Jalyn Gramstad had big aspirations coming into Northwestern.

“I always wanted to play quarterback in college. That’s why I committed to come here and I committed to Coach McCarty to play quarterback,” Gramstad said.

His first two seasons though, the third-year sophomore saw more much time as a defensive back than in the pocket. But as time went on, he slowly started gravitating back to offense, eventually being moved to the QB room last spring as the backup behind senior starter Blake Fryar. Cheering on his teammate, while being ready if his number was called.

“The quarterback situation was unexpected. I think going into the season we were really confident in Blake and we felt like we had two quarterbacks who could get us to this point,” Northwestern head coach Matt McCarty said.

“The quarterback situation was unexpected. I think going into the season we were really confident in Blake and we felt like we had two quarterbacks who could get us to this point,” Gramstad added.

That chance came on September 24th against Concordia, when Fryar went down on the first play in the second half, leading McCarty to call upon the former Wildcat to bring them back from a 10-0 deficit. Two quarters later, Gramstad had over 150 passing and rushing yards plus 4 scores towards a 24-point victory. 

“I was always preparing for that opportunity and when my number was called, I was going to be ready,” Gramstad emphasized.

“We’ve really just continued to grow offensively as we’ve grown around him and what he can do offensively and those guys have just really rallied around him and have played at a high level,” McCarty added.

Since then, Gramstad has led the show under center and similar to his time with West Lyon, his dual-threat abilities have been on full display, passing and rushing for 22 scores, second-most among NAIA quarterbacks, while collecting a team-high 965 yards on the ground. An offensive roll that’s led to 9 straight wins and a title game appearance. Showing high-level leadership others have take notice of.

“Jalyn is a glue guy. He’s the one that gets everybody going and gets everybody together. He’s really selfless,” McCarty said.

“Just a really good leader for being such a young kid so just kind of get behind him and follow him. He kind of leads the way for a lot of older guys,” Northwestern senior wide receiver Michael Storey added.

It’s easy to get caught up in the success, but Jalyn hasn’t forgotten who’s taught him so much. And since Fryar came off the injured list midway through the season, the starting QB has continued to be in conversation him. Always wanting to improve and putting egos aside.

“He’s been a great person to look up to and you’re always wanting to compete and make the person in front of you or behind you better. It’s been awesome to learn from him. He’s been doing this such a long time and he’s a professional. he takes quarterbacking so serious and it’s something that I can lean on and his wisdom is well beyond his years,” Gramstad said about Fryar.

An incredible season for Gramstad, and one he hopes to finish off with hardware.

“I always dreamed about doing this and it’s been awesome to switch over and help the team in any way that I can. It’s just been amazing,” Gramstad said.