It was a banner year for Haughton High, a 12-1 finish that turned out the first undefeated regular season in school history.
With nearly 3,000 yards passing and 39 touchdowns, quarterback Dak Prescott certainly had his part in the success.
“He is such a great competitor, and that's why these schools want him,” said head coach Rodney Guin. “The better competition, the better he plays. His best three games came in the playoffs, and against Franklinton (a season-ending loss) he did all he could.”
Though he camped with the Tigers over the summer, the LSU staff was still in the dark with their quarterback situation. At the time Chris Garrett and Zach Lee were both in camp with Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.
He left without an offer, but offensive coordinator Gary Crowton had high praises for the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder.
“Coach Crowton said he really liked what he saw, and he let me know that the LSU coaches would be watching me and that he would stay in touch,” Prescott told TigerSportsDigest upon leaving camp in June. “I felt like they really liked my performance. I would love to have an LSU offer, so I gave it my best. Compared to the other guys that threw, I felt like I was right there with them the entire time.”
Though the staff pursued other quarterbacks over the opening stretch of the high school season, the road eventually led back to Louisiana.
“Around week eight of the football season (tight ends coach) Steve Ensminger came and watched a game, then LSU has been in contact ever since,” Guin said.
On Tuesday, Miles and Ensminger headed to Haughton to meet with Guin, Prescott and his mother.
“Coach Miles just came and talked to him about the school and their quarterback situation down at LSU,” Guin said. “He said Dak would have an opportunity. The quarterbacks they have are both seniors and they were looking for guys who could run and throw. Coach Miles said Dak could be that guy for them.”
Peggy Prescott, Dak’s mother, said that the meeting was a positive one.
“Coach Miles laid it out for him and it seemed like Dak was thinking about things,” she said. “I think he still really likes Mississippi State, so it’s going to be tough for him.”
Said Guin of the looming decision: “He’s 17, so it's tough. It is a big decision.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Prescott said he remains a Bulldog.
“I am still committed to Mississippi State," Prescott said. “I talked to Coach Koenning just a few minutes ago. He is coming next Tuesday and Coach Mullen and Coach Hevesy are coming on Friday.
“LSU has offered and they are calling a couple of times a day. TCU is coming (Thursday) and I expect them to offer. Coach (Gary) Patterson is not coming this time, but he might make a later visit. It's just been pretty crazy lately.”
What makes the decision even tougher: time.
“Time is an issue for sure, because he has the opportunity to leave school early and enroll in college in January, and it is something he has worked towards all semester,” Guin said. “We knew coming into the year that he had the chance to be an early enrollee, and now it's right in front of him.
“We are going to look at all his options and visit with all the coaches. Dak wants to take all of his visits. All three would come in the next few weeks. He goes to Mississippi State on Dec. 11. If TCU offers when they come to the school on Thursday then he will want to go see them as well.”
The first stop could come this Saturday as Prescott and his mother have been invited to Baton Rouge for a small gathering of committed and uncommitted prospects.
“I am thinking about taking a visit to LSU this weekend,” Prescott said. “We don't know what is going to go on with all of the (Mississippi State) coaches and all of that, so my mom thinks it might be a good idea to take that visit.”
According to Guin, the Haughton camp is keeping a close eye on head coach Dan Mullen’s status in Starkville. After sparking the Bulldogs to a bowl season, Mullen has been a popular name thrown around for a number of jobs, most recently Miami.
“You hear rumors about coaches, and with Dak coaches are a big factor,” Guin said. “He has loved (the MSU coaches) since day one. Mississippi State has been on him pretty hard ever since he committed to them in the summer.
“He will have to decide soon to either stick with Mississippi State or go elsewhere.”