Take Prescott’s post-spring personal evaluation. “I’m not where I want to be. But I’m making progress and getting better.”
Now, do remember. This is the reigning All-Southeastern Conference quarterback speaking. A pre-season all-American in many if not most summer publications. The Bulldog who already has written the largest individual section of offensive standards ever, and will practically own the record book before this fall is done.
So should this additional Dak comment. “I’m getting better each day.”
Yes. This includes summer days. Maybe he can’t have much direct coaching. After four college summers though this old Dog knows all the off-(ha!)-season tricks to personal improvement. I.E., throw a lot of passes to any teammate available. Given who ‘requests’ their presence on the practice field, Prescott shouldn’t lack for targets.
Who in-turn don’t lack for talents. The trick this summer and more so season is taking full advantage of splendid timing. Coach Dan Mullen not only has the most-recognized veteran quarterback to return for a senior Mississippi State season since, hmmmm, ever? His offensive staff has a variety of receivers and runners at Prescott’s disposal.
So, “I just have to make sure going into the off-season that I know exactly what they’re all going to do, that we’re all on the same page,” Prescott said. “They’re all so versatile and so different. They all can offer something different to the offense. So I just have to make sure I get the right feeling with them, they understand everything I’m doing. And make sure we get in the right plays come fall.”
That last item is interesting. Does it suggest Prescott has a sizable say in Mullen’s selections for the 2015 playbook? Probably so, if only because here in year-seven Mullen has his near-ideal triggerman to put the coach’s concepts into action. OK, he also had it last year. The results included ten victories, a #1 ranking for five weeks, pages of passing and scoring records, and more.
But that was in Prescott’s first full season as #1 quarterback. This will be the second. Work out the possibilities for yourself.
Prescott already has, thus the incentive to move to an even better place. Or pace. “My last spring had some ups, it had some downs. I came in each and every day with the mindset just to get better, to make sure I allowed my team the chance to get better and reach their potential.”
The team won’t resume work together until August. For now Prescott’s sessions are focused on fellows to throw at. Some of them weren’t 100% in spring, by the way, so summer is catch-up so to speak with couple of Dogs. Now that everyone is on call…
“We’re deep. We have a bunch of different guys that can do different things. It depends on who is getting the ball at that time. So we’re making sure we get them in the right plays and get the ball in their hands in specific plays it’s meant for them to get the ball. And if you get a lot of those guys the ball in space they’re going to make plays.”
This, from a dual-threat quarterback who can make plenty plays of his own whether in traffic or in the clear. Bulldogs and opponents alike know Prescott can play that trump card at any pressure point. Mullen and MSU both prefer Prescott let others haul the ball around at little more often. Certainly 210 carries was a lot last season, even if it netted enough gains that Prescott was just one broken tackle from topping the 1,000-yard mark.
Naturally now outside observers look at that stat, remember that leading rusher Josh Robinson has gone pro, and calculate a net-loss for the Bulldog ground game. Prescott figures differently.
Between Ashton Shumpert, Brandon Holloway, and flashy redshirt frosh Dontavian Lee and Aeris Williams the Bulldog backfield will be fine. Jussssst fine.
“Oh, if you could combine them I think you’d have the best running back ever in all of college football! They all offers something different. They have certain plays they do better at than others. And they’re coming along and getting better.”
So is Prescott by his own accounting. Nearly a 62% passer last season (he was 58.4% as a sophomore) Prescott saw spring improvements. “Oh yeah, definitely. I’m sure my completion percentage has been more consistent, higher than it’s been in my time here. I’ve improved and got more consistent in a lot of things.”
Such as footwork. Awareness. And yes, patience. Then again staying patient in the pocket presumes a, you know, pocket. Meaning, protection. If any aspect of the 2015 offense can be questioned, it is a line with three starting spots to re-stock. Pass blocking is not something easily practiced in summer, obviously.
Based on spring ball Prescott is positive. “Definitely. I expect them to give me as much time as I need. And to be big-time guys for themselves,” he said. “They’re the start of the offense. The play begins with them.” Specifically with Jamaal Clayborn, taking over as starting center. After three seasons working with Dillon Day, it’s as much a transition for snapee Prescott as snapper Clayborn.
“Jamaal, he’s great. I trust him.”
Mississippi State is trusting the quarterback to build on 2014’s unprecedented successes, and take the ’15 Bulldog to greater things. To that place Dak Prescott plans to be.
“I think that whole game is coming together,” Prescott said. “We’ve got our whole fall camp to go through so every part of our offense can be fixed or better.”
Prescott, along with defensive end Ryan Brown and cornerback Taveze Calhoun, will accompany Mullen next Tuesday as Mississippi State takes the annual turn at SEC Media Days.