SEC Quarterback Power Rankings: Day 13

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comJune 1, 2014 

Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) ran away from Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Taylor Wyndham (94) as Kentucky played Mississippi State on Saturday October 6, 2012 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

HERALD-LEADER

Editor's note: The 2013 season was an incredible year for quarterbacks in the Southeastern Conference. There was a Heisman winner (Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel), the conference's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns (Georgia's Aaron Murray) and a two-time national champion (Alabama's AJ McCarron). Then there was Auburn's Nick Marshall, LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Missouri's James Franklin. Nearly all of those aforementioned sign al-callers have departed, however. Still, someone will rise to the occasion to fill those spots, and that's why we're here to take stock of them as we head into the summer, counting them down from 14 to 1. Note that proven performers, even if they were not the unquestioned starter last season, figure heavily into these rankings. We continue with Day 13 of the countdown.

2. Mississippi State

Like Auburn's Nick Marshall, Dak Prescott is a quarterback that doesn't seem to have scratched the surface of his potential. In 11 games last season, Prescott threw for 1,940 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was every bit as dangerous with his feet, running for 829 yards and 13 scores on 134 carries. The Bulldogs lost their premier running back in LaDarius Perkins, but that just means Prescott will have to take on a larger role in the running game. Even better for Mississippi State's aerial attack, they bring back six of their top seven receivers from 2013.

And you don't have to go far to find praise for Prescott.

In the latest Heisman Trophy odds provided by Bovada Sportsbook, Prescott is one of just six players included from the Southeastern Conference. Among those six, he's considered the least-likely to win, with his 33/1 odds trailing four running backs — Georgia's Todd Gurley (12/1), Alabama's TJ Yeldon (14/1) and Derrick Henry (20/1) and South Carolina's Mike Davis — and another signal-caller in Marshall (20/1). With that being said ... it's still a mighty impressive accomplish for Prescott to receive this kind of attention in the first place. When's the last time you heard of a Mississippi State player getting "preseason buzz" for the Heisman? (Don't answer that; it's rhetorical.)

Tony Barnhart wrote a glowing piece on Prescott for the SEC's official website, which served as the "football spring preview" for the team. (Even if, for some reason, the spring had already ended when the article was written. Shouldn't that make it a "spring recap" instead? But I digress.)

Prescott doesn't appear to be letting all the attention go to his head. In fact, he seems to be even more motivated now, as ESPN.com's Edward Aschoff wrote about after speaking with the Louisiana native last month.

Are all of these expectations just setting Prescott up to fail? Possibly. From the looks of it, though, he seems to be on the right track.

And the scary thing is, he'll have another season after this fall to get even better — if he chooses to exhaust his eligibility, that is. He'll only be a junior this year, after all.

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