Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has firmly established himself as one of the greatest players in NFL history. the former San Francisco 49ers great put forth an illustrious career that spanned over two decades in the league that saw him set numerous records along the way that may never be broken. In many ways, Rice has become the gold standard at the wide receiver position. Before he ventured on that path, he had an interesting start to his football career that involved his high school principal.
Jerry Rice’s illustrious career
Over the years, Rice has remained firmly in the conversation as being the best wide receiver in league history.
He proved that throughout his 20 seasons as he racked up many NFL records that still firmly stand. His production was unmatched as he has untouchable all-time marks with 22,895 career receiving yards along with 1,549 receptions and 197 touchdown catches. His 207 total touchdowns, along with 23,546 career all-purpose yards are also numbers that no other player has come remotely close to challenging.
Beyond that, he was a three-time Super Bowl champion, 13-time Pro Bowler, 10-time First-Team All-Pro selection, and two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year award winner. Rice stepped most in the playoffs while his production, work ethic, and personal drive have become the standard that wide receivers after him look to mirror.
He was the complete package player that has earned the reputation he has over the years that keeps in the conversation of being recognized as the greatest NFL player. However, his start to his football career is one that may come as a surprise to many.
Jerry Rice’s start to his football career
Rice had an intriguing path to stardom in the NFL, but before he set course on a football career, he had one decision that changed his life forever.
Back in high school, Rice made an extremely questionable decision to ditch out on a class that caught the eye of one of the assistant principals. That gave way to a chase down the halls, leading to the assistant principal suggesting to the high school head football coach to take a lot into bringing him in. (H/T ESPN)
One day at B.L. Moor High School in Crawford, Rice was trying to dodge a class when he ran into an assistant principal and sprinted away down the hall. The principal may not have liked Rice’s class cut, but he noticed his speed and recommended him to the school’s football coach
That set the stage for Rice to develop into a promising talent that earned a chance to prove himself at the collegiate level. He starred at Mississippi Valley State University, where he racked up 4,693 receiving yards along with 18 Division I-AA records before making the jump to the NFL.
As unpredictable that moment was in high school, it helped set the stage for an incredible football career.
Jerry Rice’s legacy
There are many stories involving Rice that only further cement his legendary status as one of the all-time greats in NFL history.
He made the most of the opportunities in front of him that led him to tremendous success and production that nobody has matched since he stepped away from the game. Rice’s performance went beyond his talent on the field as he had the unwithering commitment to his craft that pushed him to great heights.
He left a lasting legacy in the NFL that has provided motivation for the generations of players after him to strive to reach his greatness. Rice was a one-of-a-kind player that proved it on the field each week, and that has translated to an everlasting legacy for decades to come.