The next Vernon Adams? Talented Montana St. QB Prukop eyes move to FBS
Last year, it was Vernon Adams. This winter, another gifted dual-threat QB from the Big Sky Conference could be transferring up to the FBS level and joining a powerhouse program.
Montana State’s Dakota Prukop — a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder who is expected to graduate this month and will be eligible to transfer and play immediately in 2016 — is primed to become a hot commodity. MSU is going through a coaching transition with new coach Jeff Choate taking over, and Tim Cramsey, the Bobcats’ OC — and a guy Prukop has a great relationship with — did not get retained.
Prukop told FOX Sports on Tuesday that he’s gotten releases to transfer to Oregon, Texas and TCU. He is meeting with Ducks coach Mark Helfrich on Thursday.
"Oregon is my number one school right now because of the shotgun-style of offense they run," Prukop said.
Ideally, Prukop would like to go to a school that hired Cramsey on staff. "He’s been great for me and we have a great relationship, but he told me he just wants what’s best for me," Prukop said.
A native of Austin, Texas, Prukop threw for 3,025 yards, completed 63 percent of his passes and had a 28-10 TD-INT ratio for the Bobcats. He also ran for 797 yards and 11 TDs. Against Adams’ old school, Eastern Washington, Prukop threw for 353 yards and four TDs and ran for 196 more yards and another touchdown.
As FOX Sports detailed last year, Prukop was a late bloomer — about 6-2, 175 coming out of high school. Prukop had toyed with the idea of trying to walk on at Texas Tech or SMU. He had come from a new school that just started up in Austin — Vandegrift — and said they didn’t have any FBS recruiters come by.
He said he went to Texas Tech’s camp and ran a 4.5, but the Red Raiders’ DC eventually stopped talking to him and then got fired. In retrospect, he believes going the FCS route was the right move for him. He didn’t get lost on a crowded roster with scholarship guys, and it afforded him some time to develop. "I was way behind," Prukop said.
Choate, in a statement released by Montana State, said, "Dakota has been a great Bobcat, a tremendous teammate and a leader in this program. In the short time I’ve known him and his family, there is no doubt he will achieve success in whatever pursuit he chooses. I respect his desire to look at all of his options and I certainly hope he chooses to remain in our program, but we will support his decision regardless."
Bruce Feldman is a senior college football reporter and columnist for FOXSports.com and FS1. He is also a New York Times best-selling author. His new book, “The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks,” came out in October 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BruceFeldmanCFB and Facebook.