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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU welcomes 22nd live Bulldog mascot

Courtesy Photo | Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University officially named Dak, an English Bulldog born March 1, 2021, as the 22nd live bulldog mascot April 15, 2023. Dak will represent the school at its major functions including sporting events.

During halftime at the spring football game during Super Bulldog Weekend, crowds gathered to witness the introduction of Bully XXII, Dak.

The passing of the harness was conducted April 15 in Davis Wade Stadium to officially retire the previous live mascot, Jak, and begin the journey of Dak.

Among the figures present to welcome Dak to the Mississippi State family were President Mark Keenum and the Bulldog’s namesake Dak Prescott.

Dak is an English Bulldog born March 1, 2021. He trained extensively for his new role with caretakers Julie and Bruce Martin, longtime supporters of MSU from Meridian, Mississippi.  

He began going to baseball games at about five months old going to baseball games at the loft, being exposed to fireworks, cowbells, and cheering crowds, Julie Martin said. 

Julie Martin said Dak was chosen for his personality and lineage. 

“He is just a lovable pup who likes his back scratches and his bulldog sister, Bell, who is a littermate of the prior live mascot, Jak, Julie Martin said.  

Dak’s bloodline also includes Bully XIX, Tonka, and Bully XX, Champ.

Dak is the 22nd live mascot in Mississippi State University’s history, with the first mascot being Ptolemy, arriving in Starkville in 1935. The selection process for MSU’s mascot is almost as extensive as the training, which goes to show Dak is one of a kind 

As the smallest of his litter, the odds of being selected were against Dak. Despite these odds, Dak was chosen to represent MSU as Bully XXII.

Dak will spend his time as the live mascot attending sporting events, tailgates, team practices and various other events. While the suited-up mascots will be traversing the stadiums taking pictures with fans, Dak will be down on the sidelines, guarding the team valiantly.  

Student Association President Ellie Herndon expressed her thoughts about the new Bully. 

I think it is a very special tradition that we have at MSU! I love being in the student section at basketball games and seeing Jak and now Dak court-side, Herndon said. 

Dak is a continuation of a tradition that keeps Mississippi State unique. Through his duties as live mascot, he keeps students, parents and fans excited to go to events and make memories here.  

The joy brought to everyone by experiences with Jak over the past few years was far from unknown. Social media posts, videos and countless memories from organizations and random encounters can be seen and heard about often.  

While Jak was a great live mascot, Dak’s presence on the sidelines will be felt and will add to the atmosphere of all sporting events. 

About the Contributor
John Baladi
John Baladi, Life & Entertainment Editor
John Baladi is a senior business administration major. He currently serves as the Life & Entertainment Editor. [email protected]
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MSU welcomes 22nd live Bulldog mascot