Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mississippi breeds football players

I’ll admit it. My home state of Mississippi is not known for much other than cotton and the blues. Take another look, however, and you’ll see that Mississippi has produced some of the most talented professional athletes in the United States.

Today, we’ll take a look at NFL players who have ties to the magnolia state.

1. Brett Favre

Arguably, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history was born in Gulfport, Miss. Favre, who recently came out of retirement for the second time, attended Southern Mississippi where he set school records for passing yards, pass attempts, completions, and touchdowns. Favre, a nine-time pro bowler, has won three MVP awards and currently holds the record for most consecutive starts.

2. Walter Payton

Walter “Sweetness” Payton, one of the greatest running backs of all-time, was born in Columbia, Miss. He attended Jackson State University where he rushed for over 3,500 yards and broke the NCAA’s scoring record by rushing for 65 touchdowns. Until the 2002 season, Payton was the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing and all-purpose yards.

3. Jerry Rice

Starville, Miss born Jerry Rice is considered by nearly every football fan as the great wide receiver in NFL history. Rice, who attended Mississippi Valley State University, was drafted in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers. Rice went on to break numerous NFL receiving records. He caught 1,549 receptions and gained 22,895 yards.

Other notable NFL players from Mississippi: Eric Moulds (Buffalo Bills), Jerious Norwood (Atlanta Falcons), Jason Campbell (Washington Redskins), and Archie Manning.

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