Jill Lee

The Epitome of Senior CLASS

by Jill Lee January 11, 2016 in Football

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It’s not often that an athlete is referred to as the “most important player in school history,” but when one is, it’s a good idea to take notice. This season, that’s what ESPN.com writer Alex Scarborough labeled Mississippi State senior quarterback Dak Prescott after he spent four years rewriting the school record books and restoring winning ways to Starkville.

Just before Prescott went out and led his team to a dominant victory in the 2015 Belk Bowl, it was announced that the national voting body had selected Dak Prescott as the winner of the 2015 Senior CLASS Award for football. Humbled by the honor, Prescott expressed his gratitude and gave credit to his team and coaches and his entire community.

But who could expect anything less? Throughout his career he’d completely invested himself in the university—both athletically and in the classroom—and in the life of the city to the point at which they claimed him as one of their favorite sons. It was an award to be celebrated with the winner himself and with everyone he’d touched along the way. In fact, instead of presenting Prescott with the Senior CLASS Award at the Belk Bowl, Mississippi State elected to do it at a home men’s basketball game so that more fans could celebrate it with him. That’s just the kind of family dynamic and appreciation they had for this outstanding young man.

Dak Prescott is the kind of student-athlete you dream wins the Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Which is exactly what Prescott did.

In his four years at Mississippi State, Prescott set new marks for an unfathomable 38 school records, many of which he earned for passing/rushing totals—a combination he thrived on as a dual-threat quarterback. No quarterback had been such a threat from both the air and the ground since former Senior CLASS Award Tim Tebow in 2009. But it wasn’t just his on-field prowess that made Dak Prescott so special. It was his ability to thrive in all areas that made him the “most important player in school history.”

Prescott’s character was tested early in his college career. As a sophomore who had just earned the starting position on a major SEC team, Prescott came up against two challenges in close proximity. One was a common obstacle for athletes: an injury. The other, not so common, as he experienced the loss of his mother to colon cancer. But Prescott faced both with maturity and allowed them to work into him important lessons of character that would carry him through the rest of his career.

You see, Dak Prescott has been absolutely outstanding on the field, and he’s been in the running for many major national awards, including the Heisman Trophy. But if there was any one that could have summarized him more than the others, it was the one that honored him for being the total package: the record-holder, the master’s degree-earner, the community volunteer and the man of integrity. It was the Senior CLASS Award.

This year, would you celebrate Dak Prescott with us? He truly epitomized the ideals of this award, and we’re thrilled that the voters saw fit to honor him with it and add to his already outstanding legacy.