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Jerry Rice

Wide Receiver

Jerry Lee Rice

Inducted 2006

Date of Birth



Starkville, MS


Mississippi Valley State University (1981-1984)


Mississippi Valley State wide receiver Jerry Rice had the kind of hands that could “Catch a BB in the dark,” according to his coach Archie “Gunslinger” Cooley. Rice built strong hands by helping his father, a brick mason, in Crawford, Mississippi. “It made my hands rough, but it made me strong,“ recalled Rice. With the Delta Devils, Rice and fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Willie Totten created a passing attack known as the “Satellite Express.” MSVU’s pass–happy offense featured unusual formations and a giant offensive line known as the “Ton of Fun.” The team had many nicknames: Rice was known as “World” and he called his receiving corps an unofficial fraternity titled “Phi Lookum Jukum.” In his 1983 junior season, Rice’s 102 catches led the nation as the team led the country by scoring 39 points a game. The numbers increased his senior year as Rice again led in catches, and his 27 touchdowns put him on top in scoring. As a team the Delta Devils led the nation in total offense (640 yards), pass offense (497 yards) and scoring (61 points per game). Rice placed ninth in the Heisman voting despite playing on the I-AA (FCS) level. Often double and sometimes triple-teamed, Rice said, “You’ve got to get rid of the first man, run the pattern on the second man, and take the ball away from the third man.” Rice did some of his best work once he caught the ball. “I like to deliver a blow, “ said Rice. “I’m always looking to turn it up field and run over some people.” An assistant coach noted, “He came across the field with so much intensity, guys seem like they are getting out of his way.” His physical attributes of being 6-3, 200 pounds, blessed with 4.45 speed, jumping ability, strength and toughness enabled him to score 35 touchdowns in his senior year of high school yet he received few scholarship offers. His success only increased in the pro ranks. In a 20-season career Rice caught more passes (1549) for more yards (22,895) for more touchdowns (197) than any man who ever played pro football. In one ten-year stretch he was first or second among all wide receivers in passes caught each season.


Height 6'3

Weight 200

Career Highlights

  • 1984 First team All-America (FCS, HBCU)
  • 1984 Heisman - Ninth
  • 1984 Led nation in receiving (FCS)
  • 1984 Led nation in scoring (FCS)
  • 1983 First team All-America (FCS, HBCU)
  • 1983 Led nation in receiving (FCS)
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