Prescott returning to MSU

Mississippi State received a jolt heading into the offseason as junior quarterback Dak Prescott announced he would be returning for his senior campaign.

Prescott held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to make his decision public. 

Opening statement…
“I just want to start off and thank everybody for coming and to everybody who is tuning in for my decision. I want to thank Mississippi State University, coach (Dan) Mullen, coach (John) Hevesy who recruited me and gave me the opportunity to play at such a great university, coach (Brian) Johnson and everything he’s done in the year playing under him. I want to thank my teammates. I want to thank my extended family, the fans of Mississippi State for all of the support and everything they have supported me through in my four years here ups and downs and adversity off and on the field. I’ve had tremendous support and I am very thankful for that.”

“With that being said, looking at the NFL quarterbacks now that are playing in the playoffs, you’re talking about Peyton Manning, some of those guys who had a chance to leave early in their career but didn’t. They decided to come back for another year. I want to do that as well to redefine my skills. I think this is another year for Mississippi State to compete for a national championship and compete for an SEC Championship. When I decided to come to Mississippi State, it wasn’t about competing for a championship one year or making a run for one year, it was about competing for championships and making sure this a program that is not a one-hit wonder, but on a consistent basis is a top-10 and top-5 team nationally. Everybody knows about Mississippi State and everybody fears Mississippi State when they see them on the schedule. That’s a chance I have coming back another year in helping do that.”

“I think we have a great team coming back this year. I think we were doubted a good bit on what we would do, and I think we broke all those odds. I think we surpassed the expectations. We didn’t exactly finish the way we wanted to finish. I think it had a big part in my decision, going 1-3 in the last four games. I wouldn’t want to finish a career at such a great place and leave on a note like that. Not to mention we don’t have the Golden Trophy, the most special trophy in the state. I want to make sure that returns home where that belongs next year when I have the opportunity to play in that game again.”

“I think we have a better team coming back next year than we did this year. We have a lot of talented guys. We have a great freshman class coming in and some big-time playmakers that can come in and have an impact on the team immediately. We just have to get on the same page and make sure everybody comes together. I think it can be a special year. We have a core of running backs, I can name four or five of them that are special guys when the ball is in their hands. We’re coming back with a great defense as well. We’re losing some guys like Benardrick (McKinney) and Preston (Smith), but freshmen stepping in Gerri Green, J.T. Gray, we still have Ryan Brown. We have a great team coming back with a lot of athleticism. I’m just excited to be a part of it and wear the Maroon and White again for another year and go compete for championships.”

On when he came to a decision…
“I’ve had this decision, what I want to do, kind of in my gut after the Egg Bowl and then after the bowl game, but continued to talk with my family and talk with my coaches and discuss it with Coach Mullen and Coach Johnson. I kind of knew what I was doing pretty early.”

On getting feedback from NFL Draft prospect report…
“I don’t think it was that important or that made a big difference on my decision. I kind of had my mind made up before I submitted my papers and chance to receive that grade back. There are some things on the field that I want to get better. I want to get better at every aspect of the quarterback position, my feet, pocket awareness, all kinds of things like finishing out fakes and things like that. Being more consistent as a quarterback and as a leader is what I want to do, and I don’t think the grade had anything to do with this decision.”

On if college quarterbacks declaring for the NFL Draft had an impact on his decision…
“This was simply my decision. That does make a great class coming out in this draft, and I think if I left it would just make it better. I’ve got a lot of things I want to get better at, and I want my best chance at quarterback at the next level, and I want to redefine my skills so I have every opportunity to be the best and even grow once I get in that level.”

On making this decision compared to choosing a college through recruitment…
“I guess they are similar. A lot of people made a lot more noise and made it a bigger deal than it was. Coming to Mississippi State, I knew where I wanted to be. I knew the relationship I built with coach Mullen and the other coaches and some of the players and what felt best to me and the decision I had in my heart, and I kind of felt the same way following the season on the outside it was made bigger than it was or bigger than what I thought. I knew what I was going to do pretty much.”

On pressure to meet higher expectations after the best season in program history…
“I don’t think it’s going to be difficult. We have a great team coming back. I think we can be better. We don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. We want to be a team that competes consistently year in and year out. We expect to get back to No. 1. Those are our expectations, and I think with the team, with the leadership and with the coaches, I think we have the ability to do that.”

On his family contributing to his decision…
“My family supports everything I do. There really wasn’t much discussion. It was a question they asked me of what I had in mind or what I thought. I discussed what I felt with them, but they supported my decision no matter what it was 100 percent as well as the coaches.”

On talking with Coach Dan Mullen after making his decision…
“We talked about it for a while. I think we talked about it for a bit after the press conference of the bowl game, and he felt the same way I did. There is a lot for me to get better with in many ways, areas and aspects of the quarterback position that I can continue to grow in and make a stride to get better, and be a better quarterback and leader. He believed the same thing and that was a big part of the decision in coming back.”

On watching the national championship…
“That’s motivation. I take that motivation back to when I went to Orlando for the college football awards. It was more motivating seeing those four teams on that stage and discussing the College Football Playoffs than it was to lose those individual awards. That was just an accolade that didn’t matter but to see those four teams up there in discussion of a national championship and the playoffs that really put a feeling in my gut that I want to be up there. I want my coach to be up there with those four coaches in the years to come and discuss to play for the best honor in college football.”

 

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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