Coveted FCS QB Prukop talks Oregon visit; Alabama up next
Montana State’s Dakota Prukop — a dynamic dual-threat, 6-foot-2, 210-pound QB who is expected to graduate this month and will be eligible to transfer and play immediately in 2016 — has become a hot commodity. Prukop visited Oregon earlier this weekend and will be on a red-eye flight Saturday night from Portland to Alabama arriving Sunday morning to visit the Crimson Tide before the recruiting dead period begins on Sunday night, he told FOX Sports.
"I loved Oregon,” Prukop said. "It was a surreal deal just because of the caliber of players there and how welcoming they were. You can tell that Oregon wants to win. The guys on that team, they get it. Oregon’s arms were wide open. They have outstanding cast of really competitive guys and even better dudes. I developed a great rapport with coach (Mark) Helfrich and coach (Matt) Lubick very quickly."
However, Prukop’s phone has been ringing off the hook, and the kid who hadn’t gotten a sniff from any FBS programs when he was in high school four years ago suddenly was getting offers from, among others, Michigan, Alabama and Texas, his hometown school.
"Texas came in really hard late. And while it’s my hometown, the situation I’m in, I want to go to a place that’s competing for a national championship next year.”
Prukop opted to take the quick trip to Tuscaloosa over Ann Arbor as Tide OC Lane Kiffin has been aggressively in pursuit. "Alabama is Alabama,” Prukop said. "I just have to go check it out. The downside is I don’t have two-and-a-half days like I did at Oregon. But Alabama runs the pro-style (offense) and that is also enticing to me.
"I had to choose between going on a visit to Michigan and Alabama, and I was just more curious about Alabama. I had to make a lot of decisions in a matter of an hour and half. In my heart, I feel really good about Oregon. But Alabama is just Alabama."
Prukop says he’ll fly back home late Sunday night and hopes to make a decision by Monday.
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 this season. 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.
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.