- Height: 6' 2"
- Weight: 200 lbs.
- Date Of Birth: October 13, 1962
- Hometown: Crawford, Mississippi
- College: Mississippi Valley State
- Mascot: Delta Devils
- High School: B.L. Moor High School
- Position: Wide Receiver (WR)
- Draft: 1st round, 16th overall, San Francisco 49ers, 1985
Very few football players possess the ability to completely dominate their position. When such a player is discovered, his unparalleled skill becomes obvious to fans and peers alike. Jerry Rice is considered by virtually all football fans and players to be the best wide receiver (WR) ever to play the game. Over the course of his 20-year NFL career, Rice set an unbelievable number of all-time records, establishing himself as not only the best WR, but also one of the best players in football history.
Rice was born on October 13, 1962 in Crawford, Mississippi. He did not start playing football until his speed was recognized while a sophomore in high school. He became an All-State player but went unrecognized by the country’s major college football programs. He ended up attending Mississippi State University in 1981, an NCAA Division 1-AA school. Statistics from his college career are a little foggy in spots, but we do know that Rice’s college career was spectacular. Career totals are usually put at 301 receptions, 4,693 receiving yards, and 50 touchdowns. His best year came as a senior in 1984 when he broke the NCAA 1-AA records he had set the previous year with 112 receptions, 1,845 receiving yards, and 27 touchdowns, which is a record for all NCAA divisions. That year Rice finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting and was named to multiple All-American teams, including the AP. He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, and MVSU renamed their football stadium Rice-Totten Field in honor of Rice and his talented teammate, quarterback Willie Totten.
Rice was picked first round, 16th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1985 NFL Draft. Rice started piling up the yards and touchdowns right from the start, and he would not stop for 20 years. As a rookie, he caught 49 passes for 927 yards, and was named NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year. He broke out in a huge way in his second year with 86 receptions, 1,570 yards, and 15 touchdowns. This became the first of six times that Rice would lead the NFL in touchdown receptions and receiving yards, and the first of eleven years in a row he was named to the Pro Bowl. Rice dominated the NFL with incredible numbers of receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He set an NFL record with 22 touchdown receptions in 1987, and his 122 receptions and 1,848 receiving yards in 1995 are tops all-time in NFL history, despite the season being shortened to only 12 games. He had at least 1,000 receiving yards for eleven straight years (1986-96) and the streak only stopped because Rice suffered a severe knee injury in 1997. However, Rice completely recovered for the next year and he had yet another 1,000-yard season.
Rice’s career at San Francisco came to a close after the 2000 season when he moved on to the Oakland Raiders. He enjoyed three good years with Oakland before moving yet again, this time to the Seattle Seahawks during the 2004 year. He finished the year with Seattle, and decided to retire the following year after a brief pre-season stint with the Denver Broncos. On August 19, 2006, he signed a one day contract with San Francisco so he could officially retire with the team he started with.
Rice played in four Super Bowls over his career, three with San Francisco (1988-89 and 1994) and one with Oakland (2002). He helped lead the 49ers to victories in all three of theirs, but came up short with Oakland. Rice finished his career holding virtually every NFL career receiving record, a few offensive records, and numerous playoff and Super Bowl records. However, what is maybe equally as impressive as all the records is the fact that Rice is far ahead of many of the second place finishers. His career totals include: 1,549 receptions, 22,895 receiving yards, 197 touchdown receptions, 23,546 all-purpose yards, and 207 total touchdowns.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- Holds NCAA Division 1-AA record for receiving yards in a year: 1,845.
- Holds NCAA Division 1-AA record for receptions in a year: 112.
- Holds NCAA record for receiving touchdowns in a year: 27.
- Finished ninth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1984.
- Named to multiple All-American teams as a senior in 1984.
- Finished college career with 301 receptions, 4,693 receiving yards, and 50 receiving touchdowns.
- Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
- Named NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1985.
- Named AP Offensive Player of the Year in 1987 and 1993.
- Named UPI NFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1988.
- Named Pro Football Writers Association MVP in 1988.
- Named Super Bowl MVP in 1988.
- Named Pro Bowl MVP in 1995.
- Won three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers: 1988-89 and 1994.
- Played in the 2002 Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders.
- Thirteen-time Pro Bowler: 1986-96, 1998, and 2002.
- Holds numerous all-time NFL postseason records, including:
1.Games played: 29.
4.Yards receiving: 2,245.
- Holds numerous all-time NFL records, including:
2.Receiving yards: 22,895.
3.Touchdown receptions: 197.
4.All-purpose yards: 23,540.
5.Total touchdowns: 207.
6.Receiving yards in a single season: 1,848.
7.Touchdown receptions in a single season: 22.
8.Seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards: 14.
9.Consecutive games with at least one reception: 274.
10.Games with at least 100 receiving yards: 76.
11.Consecutive games with at least one touchdown reception: 13.
- Holds numerous all-time NFL Super Bowl Records, including:
2.Yards receiving: 589.
3.Touchdown receptions: 8.
4.All-purpose yards: 604.
5.Receptions in a single game: 11.
6.Yards receiving in a single game: 215.