Five Mississippi prep football products recently honored as “Mr. Football” in their respective classifications, including a pair from the “Southern Six”, are set to represent their state in one of the biggest all-star games in the South this weekend.
The Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Football Classic is set for Saturday in Mobile, Ala., at Hancock-Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama. Kickoff is set for Noon.
Two-time “Class 6A Mr. Football” quarterback Bray Hubbard of Ocean Springs and Picayune tailback Dante Dowdell, recently named as Class 5A Mr. Football, lead the Mississippi squad into the battle.
Over the past two seasons, Dowdell has rushed for 5,301 yards and 65 touchdowns in guiding the Maroon Tide to back-to-back Class 5A state championships. This year the Oregon commit accounted for 2,165 rushing yards on 265 carries and he recorded 36 touchdowns from his tailback spot.
“Everyone knows he’s a phenomenal player, but he’s also a great person,” Picayune head coach Cody Stogner said. “He deserves everything that has come to him. He’s done everything we’ve asked and he’s a leader in the classroom, close to a 4.0 student. He complements our team well. We thrive on having to out-work people, and that’s what you’ve seen from Dante the last four years here.”
He will play not only in the Mississippi/Alabama All-DStar Game but the U.S. Army All-American Bowl later this month as well.
Hubbard, an Alabama commit, completed 153 of 219 passes for 2,197 yards and 21 scores through the air as well as running 208 times for 1,760 and 20 touchdowns as he accounted for almost 4,000 yards of total offense his senior season and 41 scores. He also had three interceptions from his safety spot on the defensive side of the ball, which is supposed to be his role in Tuscaloosa.
“He’s a special player,” Ocean Springs head coach Blake Pennock said. “He’s a leader on the field, winning back-to-back Mr. Football awards in 6A is a great accomplishment and one we’re really proud of. The highlights, the leadership and just how he carries himself speaks for itself.”
A three-year starting signal-caller at OSHS, Hubbard completed almost 65 percent of his passes for 5,288 yards and 55 touchdowns while throwing only 10 interceptions. He also ran for just over 4,000 yards and scored another 52 touchdowns while averaging right at 8 yards per carrying and accounting for almost 9,300 yards of total offense in his career.
He is expected to enroll at Alabama in January.
Both Dowdell and Hubbard are strong candidates for the Gatorade Player of the Year Award in Mississippi as well.
Other “Mr. Football” winners from Mississippi playing for the Mississippi team Saturday are Class 4A winner Isaac Smith, a running back from Itawamba AHS, Suntarine Perkins of Raleigh in Class 3A, a running back/linebacker and Ty Jones of Bay Springs in Class 1A also a running back/linebacker.
All “Mr. Football winners were announced by the Mississippi High School Activities Association recently. The award, given annually to “the best high school football player in the state” for each class is voted on by a panel of coaches and select members of the media.