Mississippi State has never had a quarterback selected to play the position in the NFL draft, and it looks as if that wait will continue until 2016. However, most Bulldog fans will not mind as the wait means Bulldog quarterback and Heisman contender Dak Prescott has announced he will return to Starkville for his senior season.
Dak Prescott is returning to Mississippi State for his senior season. It's official. Press conference about to begin.— Bob Carskadon (@bobcarskadon) January 14, 2015
Speculation about Prescott's decision has run rampant since he started to become a top candidate for the Heisman trophy after leading Mississippi State to the No. 1 ranking. After applying for a grade from the NFL Draft advisory board, the general feeling was that if he graded high enough, Prescott would forego his senior season. During the Orange Bowl broadcast, it was erroneously reported that Prescott had decided to return to school. Shortly after, it was announced that Prescott would make the decision before the declaration deadline while spending time with friends and family.
Some had thought Prescott, who rewrote much of the single season and career record books at Mississippi State in 2014, would take advantage of a relatively weak 2015 quarterback draft class and head for the NFL. Others argued that he still had improvements he could make in Starkville to improve his status for the 2016 draft.
The announcement bolsters Mississippi State's situation coming into the 2015 football season. Had Prescott decided to leave, the Bulldogs would have been forced to start Damien Williams, a junior with only one career start (2013 Egg Bowl), or one of those redshirt freshmen, Elijah Staley or Nick Fitzgerald, neither of whom had ever stepped foot on the collegiate field. Prescott's return solidifies the position, and it gives the Bulldogs one of the best, if not the best quarterback situations in the SEC and one of the best in college football.
Time will tell if Prescott made the correct decision concerning his professional future. Before that question is answered, there is no doubt that the Bulldogs chances of a repeat of or improvement on the 2014 season improved dramatically with today's announcement.