By John Crist
Saturday Down South
My phone rings. The caller ID reads “Dak Prescott.” He’s getting back to me shortly after I left him a message. Turns out he was in the middle of a workout. He’s still out of breath.
It’s Monday. I’m in Tampa. He’s in Orlando. But by Wednesday, we’ll both be in Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine — the annual meat market for college players ahead of the NFL Draft. I’ll be there as a member of the media. Prescott, of course, is a prospect following a spectacular career at Mississippi State.
He’s the best quarterback ever to play in Starkville, and he may just be the single best player in school history. Prescott elevated a mediocre program in a brutal conference to heights never seen before.
Nevertheless, when the draft experts go through the list of top QBs, his name isn’t mentioned. Jared Goff of California, Carson Wentz of North Dakota State — yes, FCS-level NDSU — and Paxton Lynch of Memphis are considered the first-tier passers. Prescott is a second-tier guy alongside the likes of Michigan State’s Connor Cook and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg.
He’s currently projected as a mid-round pick. But if Prescott is worried, he hides it well. He sounds authentic and confident without an iota of cockiness.
“(Other quarterbacks) are going to get their hype,” he says. “Just going to camps, even the combine, I don’t know that I’ll make people drop their pen and drop their jaw and say, ‘We’ve got to get this guy first off the board.’ That hasn’t been the player I’ve been all my life.”