Before They Were Trading Card Stars: Dak Prescott

By: Christopher, Founder & Owner
February 13, 2017

ROOKIE’S VALUE ON THE RISE

Dak Prescott, Autograph Card, Football Card, Trading Cards
Trading card collector @BrettsCards shows off his Dak Prescott autograph card.

Sometimes the misfortunes of some lead to great opportunities for others. That’s exactly what happened for Dak Prescott. Before he became a household name in professional and college football, Rayne Dakota Prescott was a virtual unknown. Unless you lived in and around Haughton, Louisiana, Dak Prescott was likely not on your radar. He created his own opportunities in his early years there and capitalized. If not for that, the misfortunes of one particular individual might have lead to a great opportunity for someone else altogether.

The Haughton Buccaneers already had a couple of standout Prescotts on their team. Dak’s brothers, Tad and Jace, helped cultivate the star he is today. Playing full tackle football with the older boys may have toughened him while also earning their respect. His older brothers might be better athletes, but Dak seems to have the “it” factor.

Prescott’s leadership and drive led to a District 1-4A Championship in 2009. The following year, he impressed a Mississippi State University scout during another District Championship game while playing with a torn MCL.[1] In his senior year, Dak would go on to pass for nearly 3000 yards and would rush for nearly 1000 yards.[2]

In Haughton, Dak was often impressive yet humble. Despite this, many prospective colleges would pass him by. It was the scout from MSU, offensive line coach John Hevesy, who recognized Prescott’s “it” factor.

FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO COLLEGE STANDOUT

Dak’s first big opportunity came in 2013. MSU starting quarterback, Tyler Russell, suffered a concussion. Prescott, then a backup, would then take over as starter. He would help lead the Bulldogs to a Liberty Bowl victory that year[3] while earning that game’s MVP award. In 2014, Prescott would take MSU to their first ever #1 ranking while leading his team to the Orange Bowl. He would also garner many accolades during that season, including being named 2014 SEC Offensive Player of the Week on three occasions. Prescott would also go on to both earn the Conerly Trophy and be named First-Team All-SEC in 2014 and 2015[4]. Not to be outdone by his athletic skill, he would also excel in academics. Prescott did, in fact, earn a spot on the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll three consecutive years.

The list of accomplishments by Dak Prescott in his college years alone is extensive. In fact, he currently holds a total of 38 records at MSU. One could draw the conclusion that his success at MSU would boil down to two things; opportunity and “it.” Without those factors, Dak may still be a humble, relatively unknown name.

STARS ALIGNED FOR DAK PRESCOTT

Prescott would somehow manage to fly under the radar for much of the pro football draft in 2016. His accomplishments at Haughton and Mississippi did not catch the eye of teams early on. However, the Dallas Cowboys would select Dak in the fourth round to develop him as a backup to starting quarterback Tony Romo. Battling for the backup position, Prescott would not waste his opportunities.  During a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Tony Romo would suffer a significant injury. Due to his impressive preseason play and Romo’s unfortunate injury, Dak Prescott was named starting quarterback to begin the Cowboys’ 2016 season[5].

Under Dak Prescott, the Cowboys would finish the season 13-3 and would become NFC East Champions. They would also secure home field advantage for the playoffs. The tandem of Prescott and first round draft pick, Ezekiel Elliot, seemed nearly unstoppable. Dallas quickly became favorites to win the NFC Championship and Super Bowl LI. In his rookie season, Dak would earn a spot in the 2016 Pro Bowl and on the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Prescott would also win the 2016 Pepsi Rookie of the Year award, while the NFL would honor him with the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

DAK PRESCOTT, TRADING CARD STAR

It’s not yet clear what the future holds for Dak Prescott. If his past is any indication, one could assume many will continue to underestimate him and he will continue to shine. One thing is clear, however. His trading cards are hot right now. That was not the case to start the football trading card collecting season. Many collectors would instead chase Ezekiel Elliot over Prescott. However, Dak’s success on the field would quickly translate to his popularity on cardboard[6].

Prescott’s ability to take over the team and lead them to the playoffs currently make his trading cards some of the most valuable[7]. His humble beginnings make his rise in trading card popularity all the more impressive. Prescott’s “it” factor and ability to capitalize on opportunity, however, make his popularity in trading cards seem inevitable.


Sources

[1]
[2]
“Dak Prescott – Wikipedia,” can be found under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dak_Prescott, n.d.
[3]
“Liberty Bowl – Rice vs Mississippi State Box Score, December 31, 2013 | College Football at Sports-Reference.com,” can be found under http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/boxscores/2013-12-31-mississippi-state.html, n.d.
[4]
“Dak Prescott,” can be found under http://www.hailstate.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=1963, n.d. [Source]
[5]
J. Pantorno, “Dak Prescott Reportedly Named Cowboys Starting QB After Tony Romo Injury,” can be found under http://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/2660165-dak-prescott-reportedly-named-cowboys-starting-qb-after-tony-romo-injury, 2016.
[6]
“Most Valuable Dak Prescott Rookie Cards Ranked,” can be found under http://www.beckett.com/news/dak-prescott-rookie-cards/, 2016.
[7]
“Card Prices Rising During NFL Playoffs – Beckett News,” can be found under http://www.beckett.com/news/card-values-rising-during-nfl-playoffs/, 2017.

Prep Spotlight: Brent Schroeder—Creating Future Football Card Stars

By: Christopher, Founder & Owner
January 10, 2017

CALEDONIA COACH CLAIMING TITLES, CREATING FUTURE FOOTBALL CARD STARS

Brent Schroeder Creating Future Football Card Stars
Image from lacrossetribune.com

For the eagle-eyed readers who saw my previous post, you might have seen me in my teen years on a baseball card sporting a black and gold pullover jersey with the word “Warriors” on the front. That’s the team name of the town where our featured guest and I attended school and participated in sports. That small town of Caledonia, Minnesota didn’t have much of a football program back in those days. They certainly weren’t on a football card. That’s all thanks in part to two men: Carl Fruechte and Brent Schroeder.

Fruechte (who happened to be my soccer coach at one point) began the turnaround leading his team to a record of 111-31 in his career before stepping down in 2010. Schroeder, then an assistant coach, swapped jobs with Fruechte and went an impressive 76-3. This year, Schroeder, winner of four state championships in his six years as head coach, once again played the old switcharoo with Coach Fruechte. It doesn’t really seem to matter, though. With both men at the helm leading the charge, there may certainly be more championships on display at Caledonia in the future.

The football program that Fruechte and Schroeder have put together has not only made their team a juggernaut, it has also begun to develop collegiate and professional players. Names like Karl Klug and even Fruechte’s own son, Isaac, have made it onto NFL squads. Before now, having a professional athlete come out of little old Caledonia, Minnesota was unheard of. The way things are going these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors have a breakout star in the making right this very moment—destined to be on his or her very own football cards.

Brent, father of Alexis (11) and Kody (8), isn’t just a dad and a coach of a very-difficult-to-beat-so-why-even-bother-showing-up football team. He also runs a landscaping business and, starting this year, is a School Counselor at CHS. It’s kind of impressive that this kid who I graduated with is able to split his time up with so many things and still create a monster football program. I caught up with Brent just before their 2016 season began and tossed a few questions his way.

VTC: Coach Schroeder, thank you for taking time to answer these questions for us today. First of all, congratulations on the outstanding season you and your team had last year. Back in our day, Caledonia wasn’t exactly known for its football program; in fact, we only had one State Championship to our name and that was won in 1976. Since then, however, Caledonia has racked up titles in ’07, ’08, ’10, ’11, ’12, and 2015. What have been the biggest changes in Caledonia’s football program from the time when you were playing on the team, to now as a coach of the team?

BS: The biggest thing we have changed is the culture and year-round dedication by our student athletes.

VTC: To give an example of just how dominating your team was in 2015: each of your wins were blowouts, you scored no fewer than 34 points in any given game, your team allowed an average of 4.7 points per game, and you outscored your opponents 131-6 in the State Championship playoffs; and, you clinched the title with a remarkable 40-0 victory. What are the biggest challenges you face as a coach with such an impressive team?

BS: The biggest challenge we face is continuing to have enough athletes out and keep them on the right track.  Our kids are doing a good job in the offseason and have seen what it takes year after year to get to the top.  As long as our kids keep working like they do we will have successful student athletes in Caledonia.

VTC: Caledonia’s football program has produced two current NFL players: Karl Klug with the Titans and Isaac Fruechte with the Vikings. What does it mean to you, not only as a native of the Caledonia area, but also as a coach, to see homegrown talent come out of the same football program that you now lead?

BS: We are proud of all our former players and the accomplishments they have achieved.  As far as Isaac and Karl it gives every child in southern Minnesota a chance to dream and believe about being great in whatever drives passion in their lives.

VTC: Speaking of Isaac Fruechte, he and some of his Vikings teammates were recently in Caledonia honoring your team as the first ever Minnesota Football Program of the Year. In Minnesota, there are seven Football State Champions (including 9-Man), but yours is the only team with the distinction of Program of the Year. With all the accolades and accomplishments already under your belt, in a very short span of time, what’s next for Coach Schroeder and the Caledonia Warriors football team?

BS: One game at a time.  La Crescent is game number one for 2016! (Update: Caledonia handled La Crescent 45-14 for their 40th consecutive Conference victory, then went on to win yet another Class AA State Championship.)

When we were kids, Caledonia football games were just something to do on Friday nights. Now, they are an absolute must-see. Congratulations to you and your team on all of your successes. Good luck in the future and thank you again for taking the time to talk to Varsity Trading Cards!