Exciting for Mississippi State, certainly. Bulldog football has begun officially preparing for a 2015 season with extraordinary expectations. That’s largely because of their extraordinary quarterback. The reigning All-SEC triggerman and a must-watch man of national awards lists, Dak Prescott is the center of attention as training camp opens.
He is also the center-piece of a Bulldog offense that smashed most program yardage and scoring standards in 2014. Yes, some of the key contributors to those records—running, receiving, and of course blocking—are gone. Prescott misses the old friends.
He does not think the Mississippi State offense will miss many or maybe any beats. If anything, the 2015 roster may prove more productive and more explosive. It certainly stacks-up as more versatile…if Coach Dan Mullen and the coordinators find ways to make use of all available playmakers.
They key though is having the right Dog directing the show. That’s Prescott’s role and goal. And he does not consider himself a polished product even after 2014’s feats.
“I can progress a ton. Just the knowledge, how long I’ve held the ball and I need to get it out or check it down. Or changing my arm angles on certain passes. Whatever it is, I’m trying to get better and I think I’ve done a good job in the summer.”
Prescott said summer also showed just what sorts of tools he has to work with this season. The deeper, wider receiver corps for example, is easily the best bunch of his own Mississippi State tenure. Playing pitch-and-catch the last two months accelerated their development and his awareness of their strengths.
Oh, and by the way Prescott reminds those who look at the underclass-dominated group, “These guys have played, these guys have had quality reps against quality teams. So they’re ready to step up and be those guys.”
The same story holds in the backfield. Not that Mullen will put a leash on Prescott when it comes to carrying the ball himself…but with this collection of running backs hopefully the quarterback can hand off a little more often in ’15.
“It’s fun. You don’t know if you’re going to look next to you and it’s a guy the same size as you in Dontavian Lee. Or if it’s going to be Brandon Holloway. Whoever it is, it’s exciting and they all have something they can offer and help this offense.”
While Prescott’s primary preseason job is getting his own game tuned to the tightest possible degree, the fifth-year senior does accept a secondary task. He is responsible for helping develop his own backup and eventual successor. After a few years with just one, maybe two real options as the other quarterback, Prescott now has no less than four full-time guys in his group.
And they aren’t the usual sort of Mississippi State’s past. Prescott is special to be sure. The rest of the quarterbacks though aren’t nearly so far behind as use to be the case. “We’ve got some very good guys,” Prescott declares.
“I’ve said it before, they probably at their age are better than I was. And I’m pushing them making sure they’re getting better each and every day. Nick (Fitzgerald), Damian (Williams), Elijah (Staley). And Nick Tiano is very smart, picking up things fast. So that’s a very good group and the future is going to be bright.”
But of course for Dak Prescott the MSU future is now. 2015 will complete his legacy and leave behind enough game, season, career records to merit a complete book. But…“I worry about wins. If we win a lot of games, that’s the record I want.”
“I mean I want to win every game this year. So I don’t care if I break whatever records I’ve already broken, or whatever it is. I just want to put my team in the best situation to win and win as many games as we can. If that consists of breaking every record, college or school, I’m excited as long as we’re winning.”