FULL INTERVIEW (1/11 show, 27-minute mark)

BROOKINGS, SD — A Kearney High graduate is celebrating a national championship.

Isaiah Stalbird helped the South Dakota State Jackrabbits win the FCS football national championship with a dominant 45-21 win over North Dakota State on Sunday. The former Bearcat finished second on the team with seven tackles in the title game.

He joined the “Doug & Daddy” Show on ESPN Tri-Cities on Wednesday.

“We’ve had really good teams in the past, but everyone has marked us as flukey or falling short and didn’t take us serious. I think now we’ve proved that we changed things around and everyone’s got to take us serious," Stalbird said. "The road now comes through Brookings.”

Stalbird spent two seasons as a walk-on at Nebraska before transferring to South Dakota State before the 2020 season. He plans to stay at SDSU to use his final year of eligibility. He hopes to play professional football and says some scouts have already been in touch with him.

“It’s always been a dream of mine but I wasn’t too sure with how my career started off. It’s getting realer as time goes by," Stalbird said. "Honestly, I just have to take it day by day and game by game, just give it my all. It will always work out like it has transferring here.”

Stalbird will graduate in May with a degree in human development and family studies. He was one of 12 Nebraskans on SDSU's championship squad.