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Oregon freshman running back Dante Dowdell turned 18 years old on March 7, 2023. He does not look 18 years old.
Dowdell, who enrolled early for the spring semester and should technically be a second semester senior at Picayune Memorial High School in Mississippi, was a consensus four-star recruit in the Class of 2023. His highlight tape is like watching a grown man amongst boys, and he is often compared to Adrian Peterson. (Bold!)
Although any school in the country would have been happy to take Dowdell, and he had 28 scholarship offers, it came down to Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Oregon. In the end, he chose the Ducks over his home-state Rebels and the Aggies.
At 6-foot-2, Dowdell is every bit of 210 pounds. After leading to a 14-1 record and 5A State Championship, he ran for 2,165 yards and 35 touchdowns on an impressive 8.4 yards per carry as a senior.
In addition, even at his size, Dowdell ran the 200-meter in 24.55 and 24.75 as a junior. To call him a bruiser would understate his speed and to call him a speedster would understate his strength.
Dowdell is strong.
Oregon was on spring break last week so head coach Dan Lanning’s newest ball-carrier returned home to the Magnolia State. Although he was “off,” that didn’t stop Dowdell from putting in the work.
He and Class of 2024 standout Tristan Jernigan got in the weight room and looked anything but 18 years old. Dowdell has always been big for a running back, but the college weight lifting program and meal plan has only provided a boost in that area. Dude is jacked.
Oregon has a long and rich tradition at running back, with De’Anthony Thomas, Jonathan Stewart, LaMichael James, and Royce Freeman amongst the names in the history books. It continues into 2023 with Bucky Irving leading the way, Noah Wittington serving as the No. 2, and former four-star recruit Jordan James as the No. 3.
Dowdell may not have a direct path to playing time as a freshman, but it will be hard to keep him on the sideline! Whether he plays right away or not, his future in Eugene is very bright.