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April 21, 2011When your uncle is arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time the similarities can be both flattering and a nuisance as well.
Mississippi State redshirt freshman quarterback Dylan Favre, nephew of NFL great Brett Favre, lives with those comparisons each day he steps onto the field with the famous last name on the back of his jersey.
"To be honest I'm not a big fan of the comparison," Favre said. "Brett Favre is Brett Favre and I'm Dylan Favre. I'm here to be the quarterback for the Bulldogs."
And the younger Favre has certainly blazed his own trail that merits his own recognition. The former Parade All-American shattered nearly every passing record in the state of Mississippi at St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis where he accounted for 6,854 yards and 81 touchdowns as a senior leading the Rockachaws to a Class 4A State Championship.
Favre was named as the Magnolia State's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2009 completing 342-of-529 passing for 5,589 yards and 63 touchdowns while rushing for 1,265 yards and 18 more scores. He also participated in the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic and the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.
But even as impressive as Favre's prep statistics were there was one number that kept most colleges from even giving him a chance: 5-foot-10.
The former two-star prospect's scholarships consisted of only Southern Miss, Tulane, Northwestern State and Florida International until Dan Mullen came in to offer him late in the recruiting process after his senior campaign.
"I'm very thankful to Coach Mullen," Favre said. "A lot of colleges just shied away from me because of my size. I'm thankful to Coach Mullen for giving me the opportunity not only because I think the offense fits me well but to get an opportunity to play in the Southeastern Conference. Really this was my only offer but it doesn't matter how many offers I had, I got here and to me that's all that matters."
Favre redshirted his first fall in Starkville which was quite an adjustment to the swaggering signal caller.
"It was definitely a positive," Favre said. "Probably about halfway through the year I started realizing that I'm glad I did this. I thought I was ready to play but looking back on it there was so much I didn't know. During my redshirt year was probably the most miserable thing I've done in my life but looking back on it now it was definitely the best thing for me."
A year of running the scout team for MSU taught Favre what it takes to be a quarterback in the Southeastern Conference and the competition level it takes to play in the top league of college football.
"It's no doubt a different level," Favre said. "I played 4A ball in South Mississippi and we played good ballplayers but in the Southeastern Conference you are playing against the best of the best week in and week out. It's definitely a huge jump."
But Favre had a solid spring for the Bulldogs and had a stellar showing in the spring game. He led the Maroon team on a game-winning scoring drive in the waning moments finishing 17-of-26 passing for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception on a tipped pass while rushing 10 times for 41 yards.
"Everything went well," Favre said. "I think our passing game is coming along from day one. From an individual standpoint, I think I've gotten better. My biggest criticism that Coach Mullen has of me is managing the game and protecting the ball. Day one was rough but in some of the scrimmages I didn't have any turnovers. I think I'm getting more comfortable in the offense obviously and learning to take what the defense gives me. I'm feeling pretty good right now."
Favre exits spring still battling senior Chris Relf and sophomore Tyler Russell for the starting job.