Frank Dedric Dowsing, Jr.

High School Career

Carver High School, Tupelo, MS (1967)

• Football

Tupelo (MS) High School (1968-1970)

• One of three African American athletes to integrate Tupelo High School under “Freedom of Choice”

• All-Big Eight Conference in football, basketball, and track

• First African American All Big Eight Football honoree (’68)

• First African American to play in State Basketball Tournament (’68)

• Helped Tupelo to MS Grand Slam Basketball Championship (’68)

• Won 100 yard & 220 yard titles in State ttrack meet (’68)

• Ran a state record 100 yard dash in 9.5 seconds (’68)

• All-State basketball honoree (’69)

• School MVP in basketball & track

• Graduated sixth in a class of 219


College Career

Mississippi State University (1969-1972)

• One of first two African American football players in MSU history (’69)

• Academic All-SEC (1970-1972)

• All-SEC first team defensive back (1971-1972)

• All-American defensive back (’72)

• Academic All-American (’72)

• Blue-Gray Classic Montgomery, AL (’72)

• Hula Bowl Honolulu, Hawaii (’73)

• Two-year letterman in track


Pro Career

• NFL Draft: 16th round, 391st pick overall by the Philadelphia Eagles; did not report (’73)

• AT&T district manager in Georgia, New Jersey & California

• Enrolled in Memphis Theological Seminary (’93)


Honors and Special Recognition

• First African American to represent national 4-H Club in report made to Pres. Richard Nixon (’71)

• One of only two MSU athletes to ever receive the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award (’72)

• First African-American elected “Mr. MSU” as voted by fellow MIssissippi State students (’72)


Did You Know?

Frank Dowsing has been repeatedly refered to as “The Jackie Robinson of Mississippi” because he had the temperament, talent and intelligence to pioneer the transition to integrated public schools in Mississippi. More than 40 years after their graduation, Dowsing’s classmates and teammates are still fiercely loyal. Recalled Tupelo High football coach Tom Cheney, “We were playing one of the teams in the Delta and one of my players came out of the game and said, ‘You won’t believe what they’re saying and doing to Frank out there.’ Frank played on and never said a word.”


“People in Tupelo thought he hung the moon” said former teammate Bubba Worthen. “He was a leader all the team looked up to. Frank did a lot to smooth racial relations here and at MIssissippi State.”.