Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald had a successful sophomore season, throwing for 2,423 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 1,375 yards and 16 more scores. The committee that hands out the Maxwell Award, given annually to the best player in college football, has taken notice.
Fitzgerald has been named to the 2017 Maxwell Award watch list. He’s one of 85 players overall, with 21 of those coming from the SEC.
Following in the footsteps of Dak Prescott, who holds almost every school record after his days in Starkville, was a tough task, but Fitzgerald handled the pressure admirably, keeping the Bulldogs offense a threat. With the maturation that comes with a full year behind center, Fitzgerald figures to be one of the more electric players in the SEC.
The Bulldogs open the season at home on Sept. 2 against Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs lost their season opener a year ago to South Alabama, falling 21-20 after Westin Graves’ 28-yard field-goal try in the final seconds hit the upright and bounced left.