It’s Heisman night and Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t in New York City taking part in festivities as a finalist for the award.

Nevertheless, he still put forth one of the great individual seasons in Mississippi State history in 2014, and he’s hauled in plenty of end-of-year recognitions as a result. Here’s a rundown of Prescott’s awards and honors in 2014, even if a Heisman is absent from the list.

All-Conference Honors

Prescott was named the first-team quarterback on the Associated Press and SEC coaches’ All-SEC teams, becoming the first MSU signal caller since 1986 to earn first-team all-conference honors.

The junior beat out Blake Sims for the first-team honor on both all-conference teams, even though he lost to Sims in their head-to-head matchup last month, and even though Sims quarterbacked the SEC champion Alabama Crimson Tide to the No. 1 seed in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Honoring Prescott with first-team recognition shows the value of his impact on Mississippi State’s offense. Both MSU and Alabama averaged better than 37 points per game this season, and Sims had superior numbers to Prescott in most statistical categories. However, few players in the SEC did more with less on offense than Prescott, who was surrounded by players with little buzz coming out of high school.

His best offensive lineman, Ben Beckwith, was a former walk-on. His star tailback and backfield mate Josh Robinson was once a two-star recruit. Even Prescott himself was recruited more as a safety or tight end than as a quarterback.

Sims was vital to Alabama’s success, but giving Prescott the nod is the ultimate sign of respect for his impact on the Mississippi State program.


Even though Prescott won’t be taking home this year’s Heisman, he’ll still finish as Mississippi State’s highest Heisman vote-getter in history. No former Bulldog has ever finished higher than 10th in the Heisman voting, and Prescott is a near-lock to do so even as he watches from home.

Prescott was named a finalist for the Maxwell Award (given to the nation’s best player) and the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s best quarterback. Both awards went to Marcus Mariota, who’s likely to win the Heisman as well. No Mississippi State player has ever won either award, and Prescott was unable to buck that trend, but he still represented Mississippi State at the College Football Awards show along with players from traditional power programs like Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Florida State, the list goes on and on. That is something the MSU community can and should take pride in.

The junior has also been nominated for the Manning Award, also given to the nation’s best quarterback. That award is the only quarterback-driven award handed out after bowl season, meaning if Prescott can have a strong showing in Mississippi State’s first Orange Bowl appearance since 1941, he could be MSU’s first winner of the award named for a legendary Ole Miss quarterback.

How sweet would that be for Bulldogs fans? Your grandmother’s apple pie wouldn’t even compare.

One award Prescott has already won is the Conerly Trophy, handed out annually to the best collegiate football player from the state of Mississippi. The junior was MSU’s second straight recipient of the award after guard Gabe Jackson earned the honor last year. Again, Mississippi State was recognized before its peers as an elite football program, at least for this season. That’s virtually unprecedented in MSU history.


Prescott added one off-the-field honor to his list of accomplishments this semester. Jackson Clarion-Ledger reporter Michael Bonner was on-hand at the second of Mississippi State’s five open practices in preparation for the Orange Bowl, and he noticed Prescott was not present. As it turns out, the fourth-year junior was graduating at the time.

So even though Prescott wasn’t included in this year’s Heisman celebration, he still garnered plenty of positive attention for his historic season in Starkville, and he represented Mississippi State on the biggest of stages in the process.