This isn’t something MSU fans want to consider, but like any backup quarterback, Dak Prescott is an awkward Tyler Russell step away from being the No. 1 QB. And Russell has dealt with two knee injuries since the start of last season, the latest a sprained MCL that kept him out of the Music City Bowl.
Russell is nearing 100 percent health and has looked fine this spring, but let us consider for a moment the possibility of Prescott, a redshirt freshman, being the starter. How would he handle it?
Prescott doesn’t think he’d be overwhelmed.
“There’d be some nerves, but not at all,” he said. “Coach (Dan) Mullen and coach (Les) Koenning do a great job preparing us each practice, and I’d feel the same way for a game. I’m just trying to do my job and doing the best I can.”
Prescott has looked solid this spring. We knew he could run, and he’s shown these past few weeks how well he can throw. We actually got a glimpse of that back in December during bowl prep, when Prescott showed out during a scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium (CLICK HERE).
Prescott was a January enrollee last year, so this is his second spring at State. He’s come a long way in the past year.
“Dak understands the offense,” Mullen said. “Last year, trying to survive, and this year he knows what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and has put himself into a position where you’re going to feel comfortable with him going out there on the field and playing.”
Said Prescott, “Last spring I was just trying to learn the plays. I was just trying to know my right to left, dropping back, which side of the line to slide to. And now I’m getting deeper into the playbook, learning which reads are for which defenses, learning the fronts and everything, just getting real in-depth with the checks and the reads and everything.”
Even assuming Russell does stay healthy, there will be some snaps available for Prescott. Mullen said they “might make a package or two for him, just to get him that experience.” What kind of packages? Well, again, the kid can run, and he’s got good size at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds.
So perhaps some work near the goal line, or other short-yardage situations. I’d be interested to see how willing coaches are to let Prescott use his arm, because my eyeballs tell me he’s more advanced as a passer now than Chris Relf ever was.
Prescott is a guy who likes contact, which of course is something he’s not experienced this spring because of that red jersey he’s wearing. He said that’s been good for him, though, as it allows him to focus more on quarterback things.
“I don’t feel the same just sitting back there, but I love doing it, but I think that’s better for me that I’m learning the quarterback spot, not just necessarily when I’m in pressure, run it down,” Prescott said. “When I’ve got pressure on me, I can check it down, where my check-downs are. I think the no-contact will actually help me out in the longer run, but I’m definitely ready to run it.”
For video of Prescott, CLICK HERE.