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#7 Days Until Kickoff: Nick Fitzgerald

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Mississippi State vs. Stephen F. Austin is in seven days!

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Football returns to Davis Wade Stadium in just seven days, which calls for another Bulldog spotlight. Today is none other than senior star quarterback, #7 Nick Fitzgerald.

Standing at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Fitzgerald is a big, dual-threat quarterback from Richmond Hill, Georgia. He played in a triple-option system at Richmond Hill High School, where he was a four-year letterwinner and a three-star recruit.

Showing his athletic ability, Fitzgerald played wide receiver and was backup QB during junior year of high-school. He garnered 334 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He helped lead the Wildcats to a 8-3 season and reach the state playoffs for the first time since 1996.

During his senior season, Fitzgerald went 10-2 and led the Wildcats to the second round of the Georgia High School Association Class 5A State Football Championship.

He had 778 yards through the air, including 12 passing touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also rushed the ball 182 times for 1,429 yards and 25 scores.

Following a tremendous senior season, Fitzgerald earned Honorable Mention Georgia Sports Writers Association and Atlanta Journal Constitution Class 5A All-State selections and was named the Region 3-5A Player of the Year.

He committed to MSU on June 23, 2013. Fitzgerald enrolled to MSU in January 2014 and redshirted during his first year with the program.

In 2015, he primarily served as Dak Prescott’s backup. He played in seven games, going 11-14 passing the ball for 235 yards and three touchdowns. He added three more scores rushing the ball on 23 carries for 127 yards.

Fitzgerald made a name for himself in 2016, breaking several school records. He started all 13 games and passed for 2,423 yards on 196-361 passing. He tossed 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He did most of his damage of the ground, as he rushed for 1,375 yards on 195 carries and added 16 touchdowns.

He broke four single-season records during his sophomore year, which includes yards per rush (7.1), rushing yards by a quarterback (1,375), 100-yard rushing games (8) and 100-yard rushing games by a QB (8).

He also broke five single-game records during his sophomore year. He broke not only the rushing record by a quarterback, but the rushing record of any player in school history with 258 yards at Ole Miss. He also set the school single-game record for yards-per-rush with 18.4 yards in the same game against Ole Miss. He broke the record for touchdown passes (5) and touchdowns responsible for (7) against Samford. He was voted MVP of the St. Petersburg Bowl after totaling for 268 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in a 17-16 win over Miami (Ohio).

Fitzgerald followed a record-breaking sophomore season with a junior campaign that solidified his position as one of the Southeastern Conference’s most elite quarterbacks.

He started 12 games. The do-it-all quarterback accumulated 2,766 yards of total offense and averaged 230.5 yards per game, which was third in the SEC. Through the air, Fitzgerald completed 159-286 passes for 1,782 yards and 15 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. On the ground, he led SEC quarterbacks with 984 yards on 162 rushes to go along with 14 touchdowns.

He had a tremendous game against LSU where he was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 16). He had four touchdowns, two rushing and two passing, to go along with 286 yards of total offense in the win over No. 11 LSU. He was also named 2017 Maxwell Award National Player of the Week, 2017 Davey O’Brien Award QB of the Week, 2017 Manning Award Star of the Week for that performance.

He was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week again after leading state to a big road win at No. 24 Texas A&M (Oct, 28). He had 246 yards of total offense (105 rushing) and three touchdowns against the Aggies.

Fitzgerald’s junior season was drawn to an end with 9:13 to go in the first quarter of the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night after he suffered a broken right ankle.

On the year, he was named a 2017 Maxwell Award Semifinalist, 2017 Davey O’Brien Award Semifinalist and 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Finalist,

All eyes are on Fitzgerald this season. He enters his senior season with more rushing touchdowns (33) and more 100-yard rushing games (14) than any quarterback in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Big expectations for a guy that should be in the center of Heisman Trophy talks.