Picayune’s Dante Dowdell receives U.S. Army Bowl Jersey

When it came to Mississippi’s Mr. Football award for Class 5A, both Picayune running back Dante Dowdell and Gautier quarterback Kaden Irving would have been more than worthy recipients.

Dowdell ended up taking home the top honors, but there is room for both stars in the U.S. Army Bowl.

This morning, the two former News 25 Student Athletes of the Week both received their All-American jerseys, starting in chronological order in Picayune.

Dante Dowdell’s list of accomplishments over the past year isn’t a short one, four-star recruit, Oregon commit, Mississippi Alabama All-Star Game selection, MaxPreps Player of the Year, 5A state title game MVP, Mr. Football for Class 5A, but outside of winning a gold ball, U.S. Army Bowl All-American might just take the cake. “It’s a big accomplishment. Being the first one from my school ever, and one of the few ones from the state of Mississippi, so being able to put on for my school and my home town – I mean my home state – it just feels good.”

Dowdell is the first ever Maroon Tide All-American and one of just four players from Mississippi selected to play in this year’s game held in Frisco, Texas on December 17th.

Statistically, he’s an obvious choice, ranking sixth in the state with more than 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns, keep in mind, he’s only had to play all four quarters in about half his games. If that’s not enough, he passes the eye test with flying colors.

“He’s everything you want in a back. He has the size. He has the strength. He has the agility. He has the power to run over folks, and the speed to break away big runs.”

“Yeah, we’ve put a lot of work in, a lot of late nights in the gym, two-a-days, maybe three-a-days sometimes, doing everything I can to get to the position that I am now.”

All of a sudden, Dowdell and his 28 Division I offers, walking right in the footsteps of his childhood idol Derrick Henry, who scored a touchdown in the U.S. Army Bowl back in 2013 and also wore number two back in high school and college.

Pretty fitting, Dowdell now wearing number 22 just like Henry does in the NFL. “It just feels good. I’ve told y’all I’ll be able to be on a list with the greats. Adrian Peterson, Reggie Bush, Derrick Henry, Najee Harris, great running backs like that have played in this game. Just blessed to be in the position.”

“And how’s the jersey feeling?” “It feels good. I want to take it home, but I’ve got to give it back.”

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