Jerry Rice was born on October 13, 1962 in Starkville, Mississippi and is the son of Joe and Eddie Rice. When Jerry was a child, his family moved to the rural town of Crawford, Mississippi. He was one of 8 children and his father worked as a bricklayer to support his family. Joe would have him and his 5 brothers worked with him during the scorching summers in Mississippi, and he learned the importance of hard work. Playing sports with and against his brothers helped him develop toughness and chasing horses helped Jerry develop his speed. He attended B.L. Moor High School in Crawford and his football career began in the most unusual of circumstances. One day, he decided to skip school, but was caught by the vice-principal. He demanded that Jerry Rice go to class, but he refused and the principal chased him around the school. When he finally caught Jerry, he was punished and sent to football practice. He started playing football relatively late, when he was a sophomore in high school. Despite the late start, he went on to earn All-State honors as a receiver. Unfortunately, despite this honor, he was overlooked by practically every major college problem in the country. However, Jerry caught the attention of Mississippi Valley State University head coach Archie Cooley.He was the only college head coach to come to Crawford to see Jerry play. Cooley was impressed by his speed and precise pass routes and offered him a scholarship. 

Jerry Rice made an immediate impact, catching 30 passes for 428 yards and 2 touchdown receptions. He was named "World" because there was not a ball that he could not catch. His quarterback at Mississippi Valley State was the talented Willie Totten. Totten was named "Satellite" and together, they became one of the greatest quarterback-receiver combinations in college football history. His head coach, Archie Cooley, was named the "Gunslinger" because he ran a pass happy offense. Running the ball was almost non-existent, and he would run a variety of pass formations. He would run a no-huddle offense, or sometimes, he would have no running backs in the backfield. With this emphasis on the passing game and his incredible work ethic, Jerry prospered. In 1983 and 1984, he caught over 100 passes and from 1982-1984, he had over 1,000 yards receiving. In 1983, in a game against Southern University, Rice caught an NCAA record 24 passes. In 1984, he caught 103 passes for 1,682 yards, and an incredible 27 touchdown receptions. Jerry Rice was a Division 1-AA All-American and set 18 Division 1-AA records. Despite these achievements, some NFL scouts were skeptical because he did not have great speed and played at a small Division 1-AA school. However, San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh was impressed by Jerry Rice's sure hands and pass patterns. After he was the Most Valuable Player in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game, Bill Walsh urged the 49ers to draft Rice. He was the 16th player drafted in the first round in 1985.

Early in his rookie year, Jerry Rice struggled, dropping numerous passes. He was booed by 49ers' fans and many questioned why they drafted him. After playing at a small Division 1-AA school, he had trouble adjusting to the 49ers offense and NFL competition. However, this adversity made him work harder and eventually, he showed 49ers fans that he was a worthy first round pick. In December of 1985, he caught 10 passes for 241 yards against the then Los Angeles Rams. He went on to become the NFC's Rookie of the Year, catching 49 passes for 927 yards, and 3 touchdowns. In 1987, he had an NFL record 22 touchdowns, and was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. In 1988, Rice averaged an incredible 20.4 yards per reception, which averages out to two first downs per catch! In the same year, he had 11 receptions for 215 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl XXIII. The 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16 and he was the Most Valuable Player in the game. Between 1986 and 1996, he had at least 1,000 yards receiving.  He was the NFL Player of the Year in 1990. He suffered a devastating knee injury in 1997, and missed the rest of the season. Rice used his legendary workout regimen to come back the next year. He caught 82 passes for 1,157 yards and 9 touchdowns. Jerry Rice left the 49ers after the 2000 season to join the Oakland Raiders and in 2002 he helped lead them to Super Bowl XXXVII. Unfortunately, the Raiders lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-21. Remarkably, that year, at the age of 40, he had 92 receptions for 1,211 yards, and 7 touchdowns. During the 2004 season, Oakland traded him to the Seattle Seahawks and this is where he ended his great career. On August 19, 2006, Jerry Rice announced his retirement at the age of 44.

You would be hard pressed to find anyone in NFL history that got more out of their talent than Jerry Rice. He was just as famous for his work habits as he was for his performances on the field. He would run up hills, eat healthy foods, and was always in outstanding physical condition. He was a tenacious competitor and did not have a problem challenging his teammates. He was an 11-time All-Pro and holds 38 NFL records. He holds the NFL record for most the most receptions(1,549), receiving yards(22,895), and touchdowns, (208). He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

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