This afternoon, Dak Prescott hits the road for the Manning Passing Academy, the second year in a row for a Mississippi State quarterback to serve as a counselor at the prestigious camp. Then, early next week, Prescott will head to Hoover with Dan Mullen and teammates Benardrick McKinney and Jay Hughes for SEC Media Days.
I ran into Prescott while he was in the building and caught up with him for a few minutes to talk about his upcoming adventures, as well as some general football stuff. I’ll have more details from our conversation in the coming days, but here’s a quick excerpt in Q&A form to whet your appetite.
Bob: When did you find out about the Manning Camp and what was that process like?
Dak: I found out in the end of April. I got an email from my cousin saying he thought they were going to invite me, because I went as a camper when I was in high school. He said it’d be cool if they invited me back to be a counselor this time.
Then, a week later, I had an email from the Passing Academy saying I’d been invited, to let them know if I could come and they were excited to have me as a counselor. I’ve been on the other side of it, so now to go in as a counselor is a pretty exciting thing and I’m looking forward to it.
I’ll be teaching and coaching, but I think it’ll definitely be a big learning period for me. I’ll be picking some other quarterbacks’ brains, seeing how guys around the country work, their strengths and weaknesses, little things I can pick up. I’m excited to see all the guys and the competition from around the country and get with them on a social level and a physical level and compete with them.
Bob: The Passing Academy always invites the top quarterbacks in the country. Is it weird to think of yourself that way?
Dak: I don’t know if it’s weird. I have high expectations for myself and it’s exciting for others to notice that and to be counted in that group as the top quarterbacks coming back in college football. But like I said, I hold high expectations for myself. I want to be the best at the end of the day, the best team player, and this is just an opportunity for me to go learn from guys like Peyton and Eli and Archie and just competing against my competition without being in a game. It’ll be fun and a great learning experience.
Bob: You’ll be one of MSU’s three representatives at SEC Media Days. Are you excited, nervous?
Dak: I’m excited. I wouldn’t say nervous. I guess I’m good talking to people, so I wouldn’t say too nervous. To represent my team and to be one of three to do that, I think that’s a big deal to be chosen to be there. Just to see other guys from other teams there, I’m sure we’ll talk and get to know each other a little bit.
Just to sit there and talk in front of the media, from New York Times and USA Today to local Starkville news. I think it’ll be fun. Another good experience to get in front of a lot of people and talk.
Bob: Do you have any particular message or things you want to say or talk about while you’re there?
Dak: Not really. I’ll just answer the questions more than anything. Its not necessarily me wanting to go in there and tell them about me and this, this and that. I like where I am in my position. To some, I’m under the radar, and some talk about me. That’s how media is gonna be. It’s gonna be there, good or bad, no matter what. You can’t run from it. I’m just excited to go answer questions more than anything.
Bob: So, the season kicks off August 30th. Is that too soon or not close enough?
Dak: It’s not close enough, by any means. We’ve got 26 days left of workouts before we go to fall camp. It’s exciting but there’s definitely little things that we need to clean up so we can go into camp full blast and ready to go and not have to try and work on the little things in camp. We take care of those now.
It’s perfect timing. We’re right where we need to be in the summer, I’d say. Getting better, working hard, getting faster and getting timing with the receivers. Camp will be very, very exciting so we just want to make sure we’re ready to go. I’m just excited about everything.
Bob: A lot of people have said this may be the best team Dan Mullen’s had since he’s been here. You haven’t been here every year, but do you think maybe there’s some truth to that?
Dak: Definitely. Since I’ve been here, we’ve got some of the best athletes we’ve ever had here. We’ve got the best attitudes since I’ve been here. Guys trust other guys. It’s just going out and doing extra stuff, things that aren’t mandatory. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to go, but that’s just being accountable.
Guys are showing up. They’re not showing up just to say they came, they’re showing up to get work and they’re staying beyond the time limit that’s asked. It’s just the best attitude that I’ve seen. Guys just seem really hungry. They know what we can do as a team and they don’t want to be the reason why we don’t. It looks good.