Ole Miss football legend Perry Lee Dunn passes away

A versatile athlete who played tailback, fullback, quarterback and defensive back during his collegiate career, Perry Lee Dunn earned three varsity letters while playing for legendary Ole Miss head coach John Vaught.

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 3:06 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss has lost yet another football legend with the death of Perry Lee Dunn, 77, who passed away Oct. 27, 2018, in Brandon, Mississippi, following an extended illness.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at Crestview Memorial Gardens in Brandon, with Ott & Lee Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

A versatile athlete who played tailback, fullback, quarterback and defensive back during his collegiate career, Perry Lee Dunn earned three varsity letters while playing for legendary Ole Miss head coach John Vaught, and helped lead the Rebels to a 26-3-2 overall record, two Southeastern Conference titles (1962-63) and three bowl games (one Cotton and two Sugar Bowls).

Dunn played fullback in 1962 when Vaught’s Rebels went 10-0, including a 17-13 victory over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, which earned Ole Miss a share of the National Championship. That 1962 campaign also remains the only perfect football season in school history.

As a senior in 1963, Dunn was voted to second-team All-SEC quarterback honors by the Associated Press and United Press International, although he ranked as the league's most effective all-round back that season when he completed 51 of 89 passes for 820 yards and nine TDs in only eight games.

Dunn’s career stats at Ole Miss included 1,820 all-purpose yards on 289 plays for a 6.3 average per play. He had 536 career rushing yards on 158 carries and two TDs, completed 65 of 116 passes for 1,112 yards and 12 TDs, and caught eight passes for 97 yards. Dunn also averaged 36.8 yards punting in 1962. His longest play from scrimmage came in the 1962 game against Houston when his TD pass to Larry Smith covered 73 yards.

Following his career at Ole Miss, Dunn played in the 1964 Chicago All-Star Game and the Senior Bowl before being selected in the fourth round (45th overall pick) by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1964 National Football League draft and by the San Diego Chargers in the third round (24th overall pick) of the 1964 American Football League draft.

Dunn signed with Dallas and played the 1964 and 1965 seasons with the Cowboys and then continued his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons (1966-1968) and the Baltimore Colts (1969). During his six NFL seasons, Dunn was a running back and played in 74 pro games, had 214 carries for 653 yards and six touchdowns, and caught 42 passes for 408 yards and one TD.

Dunn also enjoyed a highly successful prep career, playing for Coach Jack Davis at Natchez High School. He was selected as the Big Eight Conference Outstanding Back in 1959 when he had 2,609 yards of total offense, rushed for 20 TDs and passed for another 14 as he completed 59 percent of his passes. Dunn was chosen All-Big Eight Conference quarterback for three seasons, an automatic choice for All-America, All-Southern and All-State honors. During his four seasons at Natchez High, he rushed for 2,895 yards and 46 TDs, passed for 2,822 yards and 38 TDs and had 1,097 return yards.

Dunn capped off his prep football career when he received the Outstanding Player Award for his performance in the 1960 Mississippi High School All-Star Game, and also played in the 1960 All-America High School Football Classic in Baton Rouge, La.

He earned four prep letters in football, two in basketball and three each in baseball and track while competing for Natchez High School.

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