STARKVILLE – While many teams around the Southeastern Conference are searching for answers at the quarterback position, Mississippi State has that position firmly settled.
Junior Dak Prescott started seven games for the Bulldogs last season and led the team to 44-7 win over Rice in the Liberty Bowl scoring a bowl record five touchdowns and earning MVP honors.
This is Prescott’s fourth spring in Starkville after graduating early from high school in 2011.
“He’s the leader and your quarterback has got to be the leader on offense,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen. “Now that he’s been here for a while, he understands what we’re trying to do, understands the game and has played in a bunch of games. This is where you see him make that adjustment from learning to being comfortable in the offense.”
Prescott overcame a lot of adversity last season. He lost his mother, Peggy, to cancer a day after the South Carolina game and also suffered a elbow injury that left him sidelined him for the Alabama and Arkansas games and three quarters of the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder threw for 1,940 yards and rushed for another 829 combining for 23 touchdowns and led the Bulldogs in all three categories in 2013.
Former Starkville High School quarterback Gabe Myles spent the majority of his redshirt fall working in the MSU secondary at cornerback.
But in preparing to face Texas A&M, Myles assumed the role of playmaking quarterback Johnny Manziel on the scout team. His performance that week led to Myles running a few plays as a slot receiver during the Bulldogs bowl preparations and has now become a permanent position swap.
“He’s fantastic,” said wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales. “With Gabe, he’s got a ton of athletic ability with the ball in his hands and that’s what you want. You want to make people miss and that’s what he gives you.”
Is Bohanna back?
Many were surprised to see senior linebacker Ferlando Bohanna back on the field when State started spring practice this week.
Bohanna only appeared in one game last fall after a pair of concussions sidelined him for the remainder of the year and put his career in jeopardy. The six-foot, 230-pounder from Memphis went through the first two days of practice but has sat out since the Bulldogs donned full pads.
“When you’re dealing with a head injury it’s always going to be day-to-day,” Mullen said. “The first couple of days he did some stuff and we wanted to see how he did without contact for a week. We’ll see.
“The plan is to have him out there doing some live football before the end of spring and we’ll see how he responds to that moving forward.”