Dak is back: MSU welcomes new live bulldog mascot

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – A new team member will be prowling the sidelines at Mississippi State football games this year, but this guy won’t be suiting up.

The Bulldogs have a new bulldog. Dak, the latest four-legged mascot joined the team earlier this month.

Mississippi State fans are used to seeing Jak the live bulldog mascot at sporting events or around campus, but after nine years, Jak is enjoying retirement.

Now, there’s a new face with a familiar name taking over the job. Dak, a two-year-old English Bulldog, recently made his way to Starkvegas, and he’s already drawing crowds.

Dak will take over as the official mascot on April 15, 2023, during the spring game during super bulldog weekend he’s a friendly guy even to his rivals.

Julie Martin is Dak’s owner; she got him from Pennington Alabama after he turned one last March.

“Just sit, stay, basic commands and then we went up from there we started doing band practices to learn about noise and then we went to football we went to basketball and we just started doing everything the normal mascots would do and he just rose above the occasion,” said Martin.

After about six months, Martin and the athletic department feel that Dak is game ready. Bulldog fans will recognize that the name came from former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

Martin said the name was perfect because both guys are so much alike.

“He’s got Dak’s personality I think that he’s fun-loving, he’s a Mississippi State true and true bulldog, he’s got a personality where he just lifts everyone’s spirits and I think they have that in common,” said Martin.

The spring football game is less than a month away and the football season starts September 2, 2023. Martin said it’s already a challenge to watch videos of him, and she feels it will be the same when the season starts.

“That video just gets me choked up so I have no idea what it’s going to be like to see him on that field but I know he’ll do fine and make the university proud,” said Martin.

Martin said that Dak is 50 pounds full of love and bulldog spirit. Dak lives on a farm in Meridian with his puppy sister, Belle, and owners, Bruce and Julie Martin.

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