All-Mullen Team: Looking back at Dak Prescott’s Mississippi State career

Dak Prescott #15 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #15 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

When deciding who was not only the best quarterback but probably the best player under Dan Mullen, Dak Prescott has to be the man.

Maroon and White nation will name the All-Mullen Team, or the best players to play for Mississippi State under Dan Mullen. We start off with the most obvious selection to the team.

There has been one player during Dan Mullen’s tenure who did more to lift up this program than anyone, and his name is now said with reverence in Starkville.

The best player, regardless of position, but certainly at quarterback of the Dan Mullen era can only go to one guy.


Dak Prescott (2011-2015)

Dak Prescott signed with Dan Mullen and Mississippi State over late offers from TCU and the home-state LSU Tigers in the 2011 class. He was rated the 20th best dual-threat quarterback in the country and the 23rd best player in the state of Louisiana, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

The Tigers, the team his mother and friends cheered for every Saturday, attempted to come in late in Dak’s recruitment. Les Miles and company believed they could steal the home-state kid from the Bulldogs. However, Miles ran a pro-style offense and recruited Dak to play tight end.

Dak turned that down and the rest is history.

After redshirting his first season on campus, the Haughton, Louisiana, native slowly started seeing action for Mullen. Tyler Russell started, but Dak found himself in special packages. He was mainly a gimmick quarterback that was used in short-yardage situations to move the chains.

Things changed the following season.

Mississippi State opened the 2013 season against Oklahoma State in Houston. Tyler Russell entered the game as the starter, but he suffered a concussion during the course of action. Dak had his number called. The Bulldogs fell to the Cowboys 21-3, but Mullen started Prescott in place of the injured Tyler Russell the following week.

Prescott started against Alcorn State and threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns while completing 63.2% of his passes. He also ran in another score in a 51-7 victory. He built some momentum heading into Auburn.

The 2013 game versus Auburn completely sold me on Dak Prescott. As an inexperienced and very raw quarterback, Dak showed against Auburn that he just possesses that “it” factor that so many have raved about. On the road against Nick Marshall and the Auburn Tigers, Dak showcased his abilities.

Dak threw for 213 yards, rushed for 133 yards, and accounted for two touchdowns. The Bulldogs fell in heartbreaking fashion, but Dak sold me on him leading the program moving forward in that game.

Overall, Dak’s redshirt-sophomore campaign was filled with ups and downs. He split time with Tyler Russell at quarterback and suffered a scary shoulder injury against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. The thing that stands out, though, is Peggy Prescott’s death.

After his self-proclaimed worst collegiate game (against South Carolina), Dak learned the news that his mother, best friend, and biggest fan lost her battle with colon cancer. Dak attended his mother’s funeral but felt like he needed to play for his mother. He was on the field in uniform against the Aggies the following weekend.

Dak used his mother’s story to honor her through his on-field success. Dak’s season was expected to be over after suffering a nerve injury in his shoulder in the A&M game. However, he returned in the most unforgettable way.

Down 10-7 against Ole Miss in a game that would make or break State’s postseason hopes, Dak Prescott entered the contest in the fourth quarter. The entire atmosphere in Davis Wade changed.

As soon as Dak entered, the Bulldogs had a different vibe about themselves. Dak led a drive leading to the game-tying field goal that would eventually send the Egg Bowl to overtime. In overtime, Dak threw a pass to Jameon Lewis to set up a fourth-and-two. Instead of kicking a field goal to up 13-10 at the beginning of OT, Dak wanted to go for it all.

Dak told Mullen he would get in. So, the head coach called a QB dive for the star quarterback. Dak ran in behind Gabe Jackson, dove into the end zone, and pointed upward toward his mother watching over him. That symbolized who Dak is in one sequence.

Dak and Mississippi State carried the momentum they created onto the bowl game against the C-USA champions, Rice. In that game, Dak again showed how good he can be.

Coming off an emotional game both on and off the field, Dak lit up the Liberty Bowl. Prescott threw for 283 yards and three scores while completing 60 percent of his passes. He added a casual 78 yards and two more scores on the ground. The ending to the 2013 season catapulted a magical 2014 season.

Dak went into the 2014 campaign as the guy for Mississippi State. He marched into Death Valley — in front of his father, brothers, and friends — and quieted the fans of the team everyone around him grew up cheering for. Dak put himself and the Mississippi State football program on the map after a 373 total yards and three touchdowns performance in a 34-29 victory. He showed why Miles and the Tigers made a mistake in not offering him as a quarterback.

After a week off, State welcomed in sixth-ranked Texas A&M in a top-15 matchup in Starkville. ‘Kenny Trill’ and company scored the opening touchdown, but it was all Mississippi State from there. Prescott threw for 268 and two scores, ran for 77 yards and three more scores, and never let his team become complacent.

Then came the Auburn game. Mississippi State hosted Auburn in a two-versus-three showdown that both College GameDay and CBS came to Starkville for. The campus was hyped and the team was ready. The Bulldogs exploded from their second drive of the game on and never looked back. Mississippi State was ranked number one in the nation and stayed there for five weeks.

Dak Prescott led the Bulldogs to the center of the college football world.

Although the season didn’t end the same way it started, the season won’t ever be forgotten. Three top-ten wins. A win in Death Valley at night. College GameDay. Number one ranking. Orange Bowl appearance.

Mississippi State went on to win another nine games in Dak’s senior season. The highlight of Dak’s final season in Starkville was perhaps his incredible performance on the road against a tough Arkansas team. In a bitterly cold November game, Prescott put on a show. The Mississippi State legend completed 38 of his 50 passes and threw for a whopping 508 yards and five touchdowns. He added nearly 50 more yards and another two scores on the ground. After the dramatic 51-50 victory, Mullen praised his quarterback:

"“I’d say he might be the best player I’ve ever coached,” Mullen said. “And if you look at my coaching resume, that’s pretty impressive.”"

Not Tebow. Not Cam. Not Alex Smith. Nope, Mullen said that Dak was the best player he had ever coached.

The Bulldogs won 19 games in two years, the second-best stretch of any team in the SEC West over that time span. Dak was a major, if not the biggest reason for the success.

Now, Dak is finding even more success at the highest level of football. After somehow falling to the fourth-round in last year’s draft, Dak took the NFL world by storm. From the first drive of his first preseason game, Prescott made sure to prove every executive that passed up on him wrong.

13 wins, a Pro Bowl appearance, and an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award later, he looks to have done just that.

After breaking 38 school records, taking Mississippi State to number one in all of college football, and calling the school his family, Dak Prescott not only ended his career as the best quarterback in the Dan Mullen-era; he finished as the greatest player to ever play in the Mississippi State football program.

Note: stats gathered from

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