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Hall of Famer Jerry Rice is not only one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history but also in the conversation for the best player ever. Before the 49ers player reached stardom, his path to the football field was nothing short of unique. This was especially true concerning the shocking way Rice learned to catch a football.

Jerry Rice learned to catch a football by grabbing bricks

Born in Starkville, Mississippi, Rice’s impeccable work ethic motivated him to perform at a high level at a young age. His father, a brick mason, taught him how to catch a football during the summer in a surprising way: Rice had to snag bricks his thrown to him, reports

Rice explained, “During the summer, my father would take me to work with him. He was a brick mason. My brother and I, we had developed this technique where you throw the bricks up, they were separated, and I was snatching them in the air. So, the myth about me learning to catch footballs from catching bricks, that’s where it came from.”

The fact that Rice applied his method of catching bricks to grabbing a football is nothing short of remarkable. It provided him with a different perspective on catching, which many players never experienced. It’s part of what made Rice such a dynamic athlete and one of the most sure-hand pass catchers in the NFL.

Jerry Rice’s NFL career

Rice entered the NFL after a historic campaign at Mississippi Valley State. It didn’t take long for the promising wideout to become a critical piece of the puzzle to the 49ers’ success during his 16-year tenure with the franchise. Rice continued his dominance during a brief time with the Oakland Raiders before settling into his last year, with the Seattle Seahawks.

That saw him record historic numbers over his illustrious career that spanned two decades. The 60-year-old still holds NFL all-time records for receiving yards (22,895), receptions (1,549), and touchdown catches (197). Rice also still holds records for the most career touchdowns from scrimmage (207) and career all-purpose yards (23,546).

Beyond that, the three-time Super Bowl champion is a 13-time Pro Bowler, 10-time First-Team All-Pro selection, and two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year.


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