It's a position that has been historically sub par at best for the Maroon and White. But oddly enough, it's a position in 2015 that places Mississippi State far above the rest of the competition in the SEC.
MSU is one of a few teams in the league with certainty at quarterback. Not only that, it's one of a few teams to even know who their starter will be.
Dak Prescott returns as the unquestioned number one QB in the conference after piling up 4,435 yards of total offense and 41 touchdowns on the way to an eighth place finish for the 2014 Heisman Trophy.
The biggest QB battle MSU faces is taking place behind #15.
Backing up the All-SEC QB is Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley, two redshirt freshmen looking for their first live action in a college football uniform. It's a big battle between those two to determine the heir to Prescott in 2016.
It looks for now as if junior Damian Williams will take a redshirt and be out of the mix at QB but still available should a catastrophe occur -- such as two or more players mentioned above going down with injury.
I'm assuming that doesn't happen, so I left Williams out of my projections. I left rushing stats out of the projection as well because Dak's numbers are predicted in the running back article from last week.
Nick Fitzgerald- Playing as a wide receiver up until his senior year of high school, Fitzgerald has progressed pretty well for somebody still relatively new at the position. He has the upper hand on Staley when it comes to experience. Not only has he avoided the injury bug unlike his counterpart, but Fitzgerald has been on campus ever since 2013 bowl practices. He's a true Dan Mullen dual-threat QB, and some even call him a better runner than Dak. Mullen will play Fitz often in blowout games to prepare him for next season.
2015 projection: 26-for-42, 266 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception
Elijah Staley- Standing taller than any other QB on the roster at 6-foot-6, Staley has all the physical tools needed to play quarterback in the SEC. He has a cannon for an arm, and he'll give Fitzgerald a run for his money once he finally gets healthy. Injuries have been his biggest downfall so far in his young career, and he missed most of spring practices and the spring game. I don't expect him to see the field much this season, but if he gets healthy and stays healthy, there's still a chance he takes the number two spot away from Fitzgerald.
2015 projection: 15-for-27, 151 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions
Dak Prescott- No intro needed here. Dak enters the season as the league's best QB by far, but he won't be lacking any motivation. He knows this is his final shot at another big season to cement his MSU legacy and improve his NFL Draft stock. MSU will unveil a more pass-oriented offense in 2015, and Dak's rushing numbers will take a dip but his passing stats have a chance to be even better than last season.
2014 stats: 61.6% completion, 3449 yards, 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions
2015 projection: 67.3% completion, 3,568 yards, 32 touchdowns and 8 interceptions