Regardless of how words gets out, it should—repeat, should—settle Mississippi State’s most immediate issue of this spring semester and for that matter the entire 2015 football calendar. Barring a change of mind sometime this week expectations are Prescott will remain a Bulldog for his senior season.
Prescott has already made his presence known on campus even before Monday’s beginning to the spring academic semester. He was in Humphrey Coliseum last Thursday evening to watch the Lady Bulldogs win again and make program history with a third-straight SEC victory to open a season. Of course making history is something Prescott is very familiar and quite comfortable with himself after a 2014 campaign literally for the books.
Whether he will continue re-writing Mississippi State marks for another season depends of course on Prescott passing on early entry in professional football. The National Football League deadline for submitting the necessary paperwork is Thursday, January 15. So presumably Prescott, who earned his bachelors degree in December and is enrolled for spring semester, could report for classes as usual and still be pro ball-bound.
It’s unlikely though. Comments from Mississippi State staff who have seen results are that Prescott’s draft round evaluation, filed for and received in December, recommended another year of college competition. This is not uncommon at all of course. Even record-setting quarterbacks at this level often do not suit what professional football requires. This trend has increased along with proliferation of spread-style offenses in college.
What nobody has any questions nor concerns about is Prescott’s potency in the Mississippi State system. He is coming off the most productive season ever by a Bulldog quarterback, for that matter maybe any player at any position. Just to hit the statistical highlights:
Prescott threw the most passes, completed the most, and netted the most yardage for a State slinger ever. He came up four caught-balls shy of 400 but did become the first Bulldog to throw for 3,000 yards, with 3,449 to be exact. And his three touchdowns tossed in the Orange Bowl gave Prescott 27 on the season, breaking the tie with former teammate Tyler Russell.
At the same time, and despite Coach Dan Mullen’s plan to get his quarterback away from running the ball too often, Prescott piled up the ground gains. He just missed joining the 1,000-yard rushing club by 14 yards but did re-set his own season record for quarterback rushing. His 14 rushing touchdowns tied for third-most in a season.
Career-wise? Prescott has already produced the most yards by any Bulldog with 7,516 in just three seasons. So the 10K mark is within his 2015 reach. His 72 career touchdowns, rushing and passing, are twenty more than any State player before him…and does not even include the three touchdowns he has caught in throwback plays!
And while it is not as if he has a star-studded list of predecessors to surpass, Prescott is easily the most accurate passer in program history. What counts most in measuring quarterbacks though aren’t stats and scores. Well, the final score, yes, because where Prescott really sets the program’s all-time pace is as a winner. Mississippi State is 14-6 in games Prescott is started the last two seasons with more victories when he alternated with Russell in 2012-13 seasons.
This is also why despite most indications trending positively…until the deadline is done Mississippi State can’t rest entirely easy. No, not even if Prescott reports to class as usual, though this might make the best ‘deadline’ of all to answer Bulldog questions.
As of Sunday morning there were 14 SEC players already announced for early entry, including two of Prescott’s teammates. Running back Josh Robinson announced his early entry on social media the day of the Orange Bowl and has signed with a representative. Linebacker Benardrick McKinney made his expected call for pro ball last week.
Both are preparing for the NFL’s scouting combine on February 20-23.