Dak Prescott has already earned a larger-than-life reputation after just one season as quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.Which is why it’s amazing to realize that Prescott might have an even greater reputation in Starkville, Mississippi, where he was signal caller for the Mississippi St. Bulldogs for the better part of three seasons.
Following that reputation can’t be easy, but that’s exactly what Sophomore Nick Fitzgerald had to do this past season. Fitzgerald had a good season for the Bulldogs as a dual threat, putting up 3,798 yards and 37 touchdowns through the air and on the ground combined.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel this week, Fitzgerald had high praise for the man he backed up as a freshman in 2015.
Q: You backed up Dak Prescott in 2015, what did you learn from him from that experience?
Answer: “When I took my first visit here it was during spring practice. He was in a cast but he was still out there practicing in a full leg cast. He was a guy that was never going to stop competing. He was going to give it his all. That was something that I learned from him. No matter what the circumstances are, if you’re going to be the quarterback, you have to be the leader and you have to be the guy people trust. No matter how you’re feeling, you have to go out there and give it your best. He has a personality that drew people to him. I think he was a natural born leader which is very rare today. That was something I’ve had to work on myself was my leadership skills. How to use my strengths to be a leader on the team. He kind of taught me and showed me what I can do to earn the respect and lead the team.”
Q: Does seeing his performance this season with the Dallas Cowboys give you confidence about someday playing in the NFL?
Answer: “He deserves everything that he’s accomplished right now. His work ethic is second to none. He’s a great guy and he’s an amazing athlete so seeing him do what he’s doing right now is no surprise by any means. And being able to learn from him and seeing what he was like and seeing how he played and now seeing him in the league doing big things is definitely a confidence booster seeing as how we’re almost the same kind of player. We can run and we can pass. He’s a big physical guy and I’m a big physical guy. He’s a natural born leader and I’m working my best to be like that.”
With lessons learned from Prescott and the guidance of quarterback guru Dan Mullen, Fitzgerald will look to make Mississippi St. an SEC contender again in 2017.