The five best players of the Dan Mullen era for Mississippi State football

Dan Mullen has a strong argument as the greatest coach in Mississippi State football history. Here are the five best players from his tenure in Starkville.
Auburn v Mississippi State
Auburn v Mississippi State / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

When you consider what Dan Mullen accomplished as coach of Mississippi State football in the era in which he did it, you can argue him as the greatest coach in program history. Mullen took State to 8-straight bowl games, had four seasons of 9+ wins, and led the program to its first ever #1 ranking in 2014.

And he coached plenty of Bulldog legends along the way. Here are the five best players from his time in Starkville.

Quarterback Dak Prescott

Of course he's here. Dak Prescott is Mississippi State football. No player has ever made a greater impact on the program, and without Dan Mullen he's not a Bulldog and doesn't become the QB he did. Prescott's 2014 season may never be matched in Starkville. He finished his career owning nearly every offensive record in program history and is now one of the NFL's best.

Running Back Anthony Dixon

"Boobie" Dixon only played one season for Dan Mullen, but that one year was fantastic and a sign of things to come. In 2009, Dixon ran for school-record 1,391 yards and 12 touchdowns in just 11 games, including a 252-yard performance against Kentucky. His dominance that season showed things were changing in Starkville.

Offensive Lineman Gabe Jackson

One of Mullen's first signees at State, Gabe Jackson helped anchor the Bulldog OL from 2010-2013, paving the way for some dominant rushing attacks during that time. Jackson twice was named 1st Team All-SEC and took home both the Kent Hull Trophy and Conerly Award in 2013. He'd spend a decade as a starter in the NFL.

Defensive Lineman Fletcher Cox

State has had no shortage of elite defensive lineman, and many of the best happened to play for Dan Mullen. Fletcher Cox was the first dominant DL in the group. From 2009-2011, Cox had 114 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks. He was a 1st Team All-American in 2011, drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and put together a Hall of Fame career for the Eagles.

Cornerback Johnthan Banks

Another player who helped lay the foundation for Mullen's tenure at State, CB Johnthan Banks is one of State's many all-time great corners. Banks is tied for a school-record with 16 career interceptions. He was dominant as a senior in 2012, winning the Jim Thorpe Award and earning 1st Team All-American honors.