Meet MSU’s newest mascot ‘Dak’ (Bully XXII) during SBW

Contact: Sid Salter

“Dak” (Bully XXII) pictured with owners by Julie and Bruce Martin of Meridian
“Dak” (Bully XXII) pictured with owners Julie and Bruce Martin of Meridian (Photo by Mike Mattina)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The 2023 edition of Super Bulldog Weekend at Mississippi State University will be highlighted by Dak running onto the field at Davis Wade Stadium for a halftime ceremony in his honor.

To be clear, the “Dak” referenced is formally known as Bully XXII, the new live English Bulldog official mascot of Mississippi State University. Named after beloved former MSU and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, “Dak” is of royal Bulldog bloodlines, from the long and historic lineage of past MSU live mascots including “Tonka” (Bully XIX) and “Champ” (Bully XX).

The English Bulldog has been the live mascot of MSU since 1935, when “Ptolemy” or “Tol” first captured the hearts of State fans after Head Football Coach Major Ralph Sasse acquired “Tol” from a Memphis family. “Dak,” born March 1, 2021, and owned by Julie and Bruce Martin of Meridian, succeeds “Jak” (Bully XXI) and will officially assume his duties at halftime of the Spring Game with an on-field “passing of the harness” and blessing ceremony. “Jak” will serve as mascot in the first half and then after the halftime ceremony, “Dak” will serve as mascot from that point forward.

The Martins are longtime, generous supporters of MSU and are proud of “Dak’s” designation as Bully XXII and even prouder to be the lucky dog’s family. “Jak” will return to the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine after the ceremony and continue to live an incredibly happy dog’s life.

As “Jak” enters retirement, “Dak” enters a new and exciting life as the face of MSU and will earn a special place – as have his predecessors – in the hearts and memories of MSU fans. While he will make frequent trips to Starkville with his family, “Dak” will continue to live in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, on the Martins’ farm.

“We love sharing ‘Dak’ with MSU’s fans and friends, but we likewise want him to have some quiet time to rest and spend time with us,” said Bruce Martin. “We are committed to giving ‘Dak’ a balanced, happy life – and for him to enjoy his time as Bully.”

In 2021, representatives of Mississippi State University began their search for the successor of “Jak.” Soon after the search ensued, it became clear that “Dak” is the essence of MSU. He was the smallest of his litter, but Dak’s determination and perseverance despite the odds led to his selection as the future live mascot of Mississippi State.

Whether roaming the sidelines at Davis Wade Stadium, soaking in the sights and sounds at The Dude, or guarding the baseline at The Hump, “Dak” looks forward to looking out onto the sea of maroon and white for MSU sporting events, living out any Bulldog’s dream. He is proud to represent Mississippi State University and one of the Bulldogs’ greatest football players by continuing one of MSU’s greatest traditions.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 10:56 am