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Prescott, Beckwith named finalists for national awards

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) — Mississippi State junior quarterback Dak Prescott was named a finalist for the 78th Maxwell Award as well as the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, ESPNU revealed Tuesday night during its Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special. The winner of both awards will be announced live in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.

Prescott is the first player in school history to be named a finalist for each award, and only the third Bulldog to be named a finalist for an award sponsored by the National College Football Awards Association (Fred Smoot, Jim Thorpe Award, 2000; Johnthan Banks, Jim Thorpe Award winner, 2012).

Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced Prescott’s inclusion as a Maxwell Award finalist, making the Haughton, La., native the only Bulldog ever to be named a finalist for a national collegiate player of the year award. Should Prescott win, he will attend a formal award presentation on Friday, March 13, 2015 at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon were the other two finalists.

The Davey O'Brien Foundation named Prescott a finalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback. Along with other finalists Trevone Boykin of TCU and Mariota of Oregon, Prescott will attend the 38th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner to be held Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bulldog fans are invited to vote Prescott for the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award once daily at VoteOBrien.org. The fan vote, which MSU’s quarterback won in the semifinalist round, counts as five percent during each round of the voting process, and is combined with the results from the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, which is comprised of journalists, broadcasters, commentators and former winners.

Leading his team to the first 10-win regular season in school history (10-1), Prescott is the only FBS player in 2014 to rank in the top 20 in both passing touchdowns (23) and rushing touchdowns (12). He is also the only player in the country with at least 2,700 passing yards and 750 rushing yards. Prescott ranks in the top 10 nationally in points responsible for (5th, 216), total offense per game (6th, 327.7) and yards per pass attempt (10th, 8.81).

In addition to Prescott’s accolades, senior offensive lineman Ben Beckwith was selected as a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy. Beckwith, the only three-time Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week this year, is the first MSU player to be named a finalist for the trophy, given annually to the best player in college football who began his career as a walk-on.

A midseason Phil Steele All-American, Beckwith is a key reason why the Bulldogs rank in the top 15 in the FBS in fewest tackles for loss allowed. The offensive lineman will attend the Burlsworth Trophy Ceremony on Dec. 8 in Springdale, Ark. East Carolina’s Justin Hardy and Iowa’s Mark Weisman were also named finalists.

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