In this profession, we’re not supposed to pick favorites or show bias to any person or entity. But it’s difficult to spend much time around Dak Prescott and not like him. Mississippi State’s sophomore quarterback is energetic, happy, uplifting and driven, which is why it hurt so much when news came of the passing of his mother from her fight against cancer.
Dan Mullen put it as well as anyone could when he said the best compliment he could offer a mother is to say he hopes his children come out like hers.
The mom of three boys, Peggy’s personality shone in all of them, and the same strength she showed raising them in Louisiana is seen in Dak as he bounces back from hits, interceptions or losses.
Her enthusiasm and energy evident again when he celebrates touchdowns with his teammates, whether he scored them or not.
The way Dak treats people, friend or foe, stranger or companion, shows how big his heart is, inherited from and nurtured by Peggy through 20-something years of guidance.
He’s always the first to encourage someone who struggles, be it a teammate after a miscue or a friend in trying times, and the first smiling face anyone sees in a celebration of success. His love for people comes from being loved so dearly by his mom, his No. 1 fan.
This isn’t a story about Dak, and he wouldn’t want it to be, but a tribute that mother who raised him. To hear her son talk about her and see the response from those who knew her, the world was better for Peggy having been in it, thousands touched by her life, whether by her or through the ones she cared so deeply for.
In her last months, Peggy’s deepest desire was to spend more time with her family, to see Dak do what he loved so much, play football.
Much time this fall was spent by many on ‘Huddle Up For Cancer’, a benefit in Peggy’s honor to help parents in her position travel to see their children play while dealing with the pain and treatments of cancer.
She made it to many of Dak’s games in his life, though not all. When MSU traveled to Auburn in September, Peggy wasn’t able to make the trip, despite her strongest wishes. But she was with Dak either way, there in person or not.
And he acknowledged her in his own personal way.
“Keep your eyes open for Dak pointing to me after he scores,” she said.
And he did it.
The night before Dak’s first start of his career, against Alcorn State on September 7, son texted mother to thank her for getting him there, which she posted a picture of on her Facebook.
“As I close my eyes and await tomorrow,” Dak’s text read, “I just wanted to say I’m blessed and so thankful to have you as my mom! You’re the best mom/dad/coach I could ever ask for! Thank you so much for having me and allowing this life! I love you so much and ready for my first college start 🙂 goodnight! Can’t wait to see you on gameday!!”
Peggy’s earthly body may be laid to rest, but her spirit lives on as long as those who knew her continue to walk this world, her love alive in their beating hearts, her strength and devotion evident in the lives she touched and the sons she raised so well.
Dak’s big smile, unending positivity, passion and charisma stand as tribute and testament to the woman who made him the man he is.
Rest in peace, Peggy Prescott.