Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen talks about record setting QB Dak Prescott.

With three games remaining in his college career, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott has a realistic chance of finishing in the top three all-time in the SEC for career total offense. With names like Johnny Manziel and Eli Manning already in the rearview mirror, Prescott could finish just behind his one time idol Tim Tebow. To put it in Magnolia State terms, Prescott is in "high cotton" and his head coach Dan Mullen admits that the Maroon #15 may have even surpassed his own expectations.

As high school junior, Prescott picked up early scholarship offers from the likes of Central Arkansas, Grambling, McNeese State and Northwestern State. Despite a strong campaign, most major colleges took a wait and see attitude when it came to the Haughton, Louisiana native. 

Memphis was the fifth school to offer, the first D1, and then Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and eventually North Texas. Prescott knew he would play on the college level, but then BCS schools were slow to offer.

Mississippi State offensive line coach John Hevesy was one of several college football coaches to watch Prescott in person during the spring evaluation period. An early camp invitation came shortly after and then Coach Dan Mullen extended a scholarship following the Big Dawg camp in July of 2010, an offer that Prescott accepted on the spot.

The rest as they say is history, but little did even the most optimistic of Bulldog fans know that Prescott's career in Starkville would become SEC history.

With 10,599 yards accrued through passing and throwing, Prescott has become one of the most prolific players in the annals of the Southeastern Conference.

"We thought when we were recruiting him that he had something we wanted to recruit, because he is such a special leader," Mullen said. "He is a guy that has great toughness and is an ultimate competitor. That's what you want at the quarterback position."

While many players have some of the best of intentions early on, Prescott's work ethic throughout his five years in Starkville has allowed him to fine tune his game into one of the nation's best as a college senior. 

"A lot of times when you have those guys, you know that they are going to give you everything they have as they develop," Mullen said.  "They are going to try to push themselves to be the best that they can be as they develop.

"I think Dak has constantly developed and even become a better player than we thought he would."

As it stands today, three quarterbacks coached by Dan Mullen, Chris Leak, Dak Prescott and Tim Tebow are in the top ten All-Time in the SEC record books for career total offense. About the only common denominator is that the trio all developed under Mullen's supervision.

"That's about it right there," Mullen said with a grin. "They're all different styles. They have different skill sets and they do things differently. I think people compare Tim and Dak because of their physical stature. They are similar in that respect, but I think they're really all three different quarterbacks." 

Prescott is currently eighth on the All-Time list with 10,599 yards, Leak 3rd with 11,350 and Tebow second at 12,232. Of the three, 

Leak and Tebow were highly sought after signal callers throughout their high school careers. Prescott barely got a sniff from the home state Tigers of LSU until after his senior year when Les Miles extended a late offer.

TCU also extended a scholarship, but Prescott remained True Maroon and enrolled in Starkville the following January.

Prescott's loyalty to Mississippi State stemmed largely from Dan Mullen's early belief in him and the desire to play for the coach that mentored Tebow, the player he modeled his own game after. 

In Prescott, Dan Mullen found so much more than can be seen on a highlight film. 

"We look for all of the intangible qualities in a quarterback," Mullen said. "Throwing and running are cool, but we look at everything else too. We want the leadership, the decision making the mental and physical toughness, the intelligence. We want all of those things. There are a lot of things that we look for at the quarterback position."

Needless to say, Mississippi State fans look at their program a lot differently these days. Much of that newfound pride is linked to the accomplishments of a quarterback not many SEC teams wanted, a quarterback who will end his college career listed among the greats the SEC has ever produced.

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