November 12, 2013 9:52:28 AM
A NFL Hall of Fame player and Mississippi gridiron legend will be honored this week in Crawford.
Jerry Rice, a Crawford native who played 20 seasons in the NFL will be honored at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in his hometown during a special program called "Hometown Hall Of Famers" at East Oktibbeha County High School.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company, along with the town of Crawford, are presenting the program, which honors the hometown roots of football's greatest players with special ceremonies and plaque dedications. "Hometown Hall Of Famers" is the NFL Hall of Fame's first nationwide plaque program and will lead into the celebration of the Hall's upcoming 50th anniversary, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
Rice, 51, was inducted into the NFL Hall Of Fame in 2010.
He was a standout receiver at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena before being drafted in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers. He later played with the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.
During his career, Rice set every significant receiving mark, including most receptions, receiving yards and total touchdowns. By the time he retired in 2006, he had won three Super Bowls with the 49ers and one AFC Championship with the Raiders. He also played in 13 Pro Bowls.
"Honoring the hometowns that helped create the foundation for Hall of Famers' pathway to the Hall will be truly special as these plaques will live forever in their hometown communities," said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO, on the NFL Hall Of Fame website. "The Hall of Fame is pleased that Allstate has recognized the significance of this program and given all of us -- the players, their communities and the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- a chance to celebrate the hometown stories of these legendary professional football players."
The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate have hosted 27 plaque ceremonies around the country since the fall of 2011 and will honor another 30 Hall of Famers in their hometowns in the fall 2012, and a total of 90 through 2014.
The historic plaque presented to Rice on Thursday will remain on permanent display at East Oktibbeha County High School.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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