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Nature Vs Nurture: The Dak Prescott Case

Former 3-star recruit turned Heisman candidate is looking better than the last 24 starting QBs in Cleveland. Who/what is responsible for this?

Mississippi State v Missouri
Prescott ponders his future, throwing away his sorrows in the process.
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Since the dawn of modern science and introspective thought, there has been one burning debate over how it is that one develops and grows throughout their life. It transcends generations, social classes, and all other segmentations of human life. It’s simple, were you born a certain way, uninfluenced by outside input to your development or were you made this way by your upbringing, brain molded by the many hands that helped raise you? I will attempt to explore this debate using the subject of Rayne Dakota Prescott and his time at Mississippi State University.

Was Prescott underrated from the beginning, being dubbed only a 3-star dual-threat QB? Or was it the great offensive mind of Dan Mullen that transformed young Prescott into an NFL-ready passer?

From the early days of his recruitment, we were often reminded that Prescott had the one quality that is sought after by every coach that has ever been, the indescribable desire to lead and win. Even Mullen himself has said before that it’s a quality that cannot be taught or coached, score one for Nature.

But, I ask you, what is a scope without being sighted? What is the Mississippi River without levees? A lion exhibit without walls?

Unpredictable and all are 10/10 not things I want to be around.

Now think about Prescott coming into Starkville, a scope ready to be sighted by the eagle eye himself, Dan Mullen. Turning a sawed-off .12 gauge into a sniper is no easy task. Does this mean Mullen cracked the quarterback formula that would yield one of the SECs best to ever play the game? There’s no denying that Prescott improved every year under Mullen’s coaching, which also happens to be almost the only level of consistency experienced by the young QB year-to-year. Amongst high coaching and player turnover, thanks to the very successes of the football program, he found solace in a familiar voice calling plays. Score one, Nurture.

Once again, this debate reaches a stalemate. Both sides contributed their own degrees of influence into the growth of Prescott. Regardless of how it happened, one thing is for sure, he became one of the best QBs to play in the SEC and the best to ever play at MSU, and for that, I am thankful.

Whether you think you were born the way you are or if you think you are a product of your environment, you’re bound to stand somewhere on this debate. And for the many of us that enjoy thinking about sports more than our own lives, like myself, it’s much more interesting to apply it to Dak Prescott and his time at MSU.

Was Dak born to be the face of Modern-Era State athletics or did Mullen show him the way? Leave your spicy responses below.