The announcers at the Mississippi State Bulldogs Spring game called Dak Prescott the most decorated player in their history. Prescott threw for 9,376 yards and 70 Touchdowns. He ran for 2,521 yards and another 41 Touchdowns. Quarterbacks like Dak Prescott are hard to come by.
Mississippi State is also coming off their most successful 2 year period in their history.
Replacing Dak Prescott is not going to be an easy task.
But, the Bulldogs have 4 really talented prospects to try and plug in at Quarterback. Obviously, only one guy can play and the losers of the competition are likely to look for somewhere that they can play.
Damian Williams is the most experienced Quarterback returning. Like Prescott, Williams played high school football in Louisiana and he is the shortest competitor for the job. But, he might have the strongest arm. He was Prescott’s back up in 2013 and 2014, but he redshirted last season. Physically, he is probably the closest in resemblance to Prescott. Dak Prescott is 6-2, 230 and Williams is 6-1, 225. Prescott is from Haughton, Louisiana and Williams is from Metarie, Louisiana.
Williams was the third team Quarterback as a freshman in 2013 behind Prescott and Tyler Russell. In 2014, Williams was Prescott’s main back up.
Damian Williams had attempted 70 passes as a college Quarterback which places him far ahead of the other three prospects as far as experience. Of the 70 attempts, he completed 37 passes for 434 yards and 3 Touchdowns. He also has 175 yards rushing.
He is not as strong of a runner as Dak Prescott, but he is still able to pick up the first down with his feet.
Nick Fitzgerald is a sophomore and he was Prescott’s back up last season. Fitzgerald was listed as an athlete when he signed with Mississippi State in 2014 and he was only a 3 star. He was a 6-5, 210 high school Quarterback that the experts thought could play another position. But, he is a pretty good Quarterback. Now, Fitzgerald is a prototypical 6-5, 230 with a good arm and excellent mobility. He is not going to make anyone forget Dak Prescott as a runner, but he can get the first down when needed with his feet.
As a redshirt freshman last season, Fitzgerald hit 11 out of 14 passes for 235 yards and 3
Touchdowns. He also ran for 127 yards and 3 more Touchdowns.
Fitzgerald might have a slight edge in the Quarterback race according to some, but Williams did take the first snap in the Spring Game.
The Richmond Hill, Georgia product is really an intriguing prospect.
Probably the most athletic of the four Quarterback contestants is Elijah Staley from Marietta, Georgia. Staley was a highly recruited 4 star Quarterback in the 2014 class and he also redshirted as a freshman.
From what I have seen he looks like Cam Newton, but tends to throw the ball more like Wayne Newton sometimes. He seems to throw the ball at the receivers feet making it hard for them to make a play. But, this 6-6, 250 sophomore to be just has so much potential it would be really sad if he didn’t get the opportunity to utilize it somewhere on the playing field. He needs and deserves a shot at
Quarterback and he is getting that. But, he could play somewhere else if his passing doesn’t improve pretty quickly.
Last year, Staley threw only 5 passes last season and completed 3 of them for 51 yards and a Touchdown. He ran for 18 yards on 3 carries. It’s not a lot of experience, but he’s a talented guy. People his size with his kind of physical skills don’t grow on trees.
Nick Tiano is a redshirt freshman with obviously no game experience at all. He is another prototype Quarterback at 6-4, 230 and a good athlete.Tiano runs a lot better than expected and at 6-4, 230. Tiano played high school football in Chattanooga, Tennessee and he was only a 3 star recruit and he was considered the 26th best recruit at his position in the ESPN ratings.
But, Tiano is better than expected. He’s probably going to be 4th string this Fall, but he does have potential to be a player down the road.
It’s hard to say what Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen will decide on his Quarterback. Fitzgerald possibly played the best during their Spring Game, but that probably means little.
Tune in next September and see who Mullen chooses.