SPENCER, Wis. (WAOW) -- From scoring touchdowns as a Spencer-Columbus Rocket, to winning championships as a North Dakota State Bison, junior fullback Hunter Luepke says he's stayed humble through it all.
"I've grown into something I didn't think I would ever see before so, I mean, I'm truly grateful," Luepke said.
He scored three touchdowns in the first half of NDSU's 38-10 FCS Championship Game win against Montana State, on his way to winning the game's Most Outstanding Player award.
"I just wanted to get another championship ring. It's been too long," Luepke said.
He was a redshirt freshman when the Bison won it all in 2019, but now he's risen up the depth chart, scoring 11 total touchdowns in the 2021 fall season.
Along the way, his hometown has been cheering him on.
"I think the whole community loves to root for him and gets behind him, but Hunter's earned everything he's accomplished. He really is that kind of go-getter type person," said Jason Gorst, Luepke's former coach at Spencer-Columbus."
With background as a wrestler in high school, his physical nature has continued at the college level, while also adding some tricks along the way, such as diversifying his role as a blocker and receiver.
"Just being a part of NDSU, the culture is we want to be the most physical team in the nation, the most physical offense, defense, and special teams, so that's drilled in our brains since we stepped on campus," Luepke said.
Also a part of that culture: sustained success and a little celebrating, busting out what's called a "leg dab" celebration after scoring his third touchdown against Montana State.
"After my second touchdown at the national championship game, [teammate Noah Gindorff] said, 'If you get another one, you've got to do it,' so I got that third one and it happened," Luepke said.
He has expressed interest in returning to his alma mater to host a football camp with former teammate Logan Zschernitz. Gorst says Luepke approached him with the idea over the previous summer.