SMITH COLUMN: MSU's Prescott, McKinney show good leadership
Mississippi State has solid leaders on both sides of the football this season.
At the top of that list are a couple of juniors in quarterback Dak Prescott on offense and linebacker Benardrick McKinney on defense.
Prescott and McKinney continue to impress those they come in contact with during the preseason and were at it once again during media day on Saturday.
After the Bulldogs won their last three games of the season, including the Liberty Bowl over Rice, Prescott and McKinney didn't want there to be a drop off in the offseason.
They couldn't afford to have that because people were counting on them.
"The younger guys are watching everything we do from getting ready to go to practice, the off time you have between practices, the way we carry ourselves and the things we do," Prescott said. "It's how the young people watch us. (It's important) to do the right things to keep them motivated."
Prescott has progressed during his time at MSU and will take control as the No. 1 quarterback this fall.
He wasn't highly recruited out of Haughton (La.) High School, but has made steady improvements as a Bulldog.
Prescott has gone from being a role player who was asked to get 1 or 2 yards and a first down to a starter that is on the Maxwell Award Watch List and was voted second team All-Southeastern Conference in the preseason.
MSU wide receiver Robert Johnson and Prescott have a close bond since they play on the same side of the football.
Even though Prescott never lacked for confidence, Johnson has watched him take the situation to another level the last two years.
"I've seen it since day one he stepped in," Johnson said. "He stepped in early in the spring and I was the first person to work out with him in the weight room and I saw it then. It was carrying on. He's working out and getting stronger and stronger as we go. He's the leader of the pack now. It's perfect for him."
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