Dak Prescott, the most prolific player in the history of Mississippi State University’s football team, made a visit to Copiah Academy one day last week late in the school day. He visited with and took photos with dozens of his little fans that day. Kids who are fans of other schools even had their pictures made with Dak.
A few days later, Dak, along with several of his teammates and others aspiring to play pro football, participated in MSU’s Pro Day. By all accounts, Dak put on a good performance in front of the scouts, attempting to improve his draft position a few spots. At that time, he was projected as an early- to mid-second rounder, going to perhaps the world champion Denver Broncos.
He has been looked up to by the young and old alike. Dak not only is able to make his teammates better–as evidenced by his team’s on field success–he applies that ability to his everyday life, encouraging others to be better students, to be better Christians, to be better individuals. His squeaky-clean record and contagious smile give people hope, perhaps.
So, everyone was shocked at what happened over the weekend. As most folks know, Dak celebrated his success at Pro Day a little too much on Friday night and was arrested early Saturday morning, charged with driving under the influence by Starkville Police. As an alumnus of State and a huge fan of Dak, the news struck me right me in the gut, and it hurt. No, not Dak.
A few hours later he posted on social media that he said that was remorseful and promised that he would, “. . .show the true man I am and exhibit my character through my actions and behavior moving forward.”
Newsflash: Dak IS human after all. He’s just like the rest of us. How many times in our lives have we had to say “I’m sorry” because of the poor decisions we’ve made, or because of the disappointment we caused in those who look up to us, who rely on us? Yep. Too numerous to count is the right answer. We all have done it. Still, such actions are not excusable.
Hopefully this is a wake-up call for Dak, and he learns from this. I’m sure he will get no special treatment from the NFL–and he shouldn’t–and he’s already at Strike One with his future employer. His fans and admirers either have or, at some point, will be forgiving him for his poor choice. Deservingly, he will be under a microscope for quite a while.
On the bright side, he was removed from the roads before hurting himself, or worse, injuring or taking the life of an innocent victim. That is something neither he, nor anyone else would be able to fix with “I’m sorry.”