Football Players from Mississippi

Who is the Greatest Mississippi Football Player of All Time?

Very few people recognize the quality of athlete that the state of Mississippi has produced. Countless stars over the last century have laid the way for the structure that the NFL is today.

Now I'm not one to brag about my own state. in fact I despise living in Mississippi, to tell the truth. The winters are soggy and dreary. The summers, scorching and muggy. And anything in between, well you can never tell what the next days weather might bring. To add to the fact we don't have anything except a few casinos that drive any tourism at all.

But the previous subject is not what I am here to educate my fellow members about today. If anything good has ever come out of Mississippi, it's athletes. Now I for one think that they are so anxious, as I am, to jump ship that they work their tails off to get places. I want to talk about some football greats that some may not be aware of that hail from the state of Mississippi.

Greatest Mississippi Football Players of All Time

#7 Eli Manning

Let's talk a little bit about Archie's son now, Eli Manning. The youngest heir to the Manning throne, Eli kinda got off to a questionable start. He just couldn't seem to get the Giants past the first round of the playoffs. But just a few years into his career Eli shut every critic up and made them a spectator of the biggest sporting stage on earth. Following his older brother's Super Bowl victory, Eli led his Giants to face the undefeated 18-0 Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl. The game held tight and everyone knew that Eli wasn't going to be able to pull it out. But guess what? Eli most certainly did. He completed one of the most clutch passes in Super Bowl history. It was later stated that the catch made by the receiver was assisted by a piece of chewing gum that he had stuck onto his helmet. Go figure. Eli now holds nearly every passing record for Ole Miss only followed by his father.

Eli Manning Career Stats

Year
Team
Completions
Passing Yards
Passing TD's
Interceptions
QB Rating
Rushing Yards
Rushing TD's
2004
Giants
95
1,043
6
9
55.4
35
0
2005
Giants
294
3,762
24
17
75.9
80
1
2006
Giants
301
3,244
24
18
77.0
21
0
2007
Giants
297
3,336
23
20
73.9
69
1
2008
Giants
289
3,238
21
10
86.4
10
1
2009
Giants
317
4,021
27
14
93.1
65
0
2010
Giants
112
1,302
8
8
83.1
13
0
Totals
-
1,705
19,906
135
96
-
293
3

Greatest Mississippi Football Players of All Time

#6 Steve McNair

The next guy here is one of my all time favorites for the sole fact of how he carried himself on and off of the field. "Air McNair" is what he came to be known as. Steve McNair was actually 3rd place in the Heisman voting his senior season. This is a guy from Alcorn State placing 3rd in the final Heisman ballot folks. Lets see that again. Although he couldn't cash in on the Heisman, Steve won the Walter Peyton Award! He was drafter in the first round by the Houston Oilers as the #3 pick of the draft. However he didn't get his big break until the 1997 season. But when he finally did, he made the best of it. He finished that season 8-8. In 1999 he led the now known Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl. It is probably in my top 3 Super Bowls that I have ever actually watched live. The Titans came up 1 yard short of the game winning touchdown on the final seconds of the game. Steve finished his injury plagued career among the top 30 in nearly every major passing statistic. Unfortunately in 2008 Steve McNair's life tragically came to an end.

Steve McNair Career Stats

Year
Team
Completions
Passing Yards
Passing TD's
Interceptions
QB Rating
Rushing Yards
Rushing TD's
1995
Oilers
41
569
3
1
81.7
38
0
1996
Oilers
88
1,197
6
4
90.6
169
2
1997
Oilers
216
2,665
14
13
70.4
674
8
1998
Oilers
289
3,228
15
10
80.1
559
4
1999
Titans
187
2,179
12
8
78.6
337
8
2000
Titans
248
2,847
15
13
83.2
403
0
2001
Titans
264
3,350
21
12
90.2
414
5
2002
Titans
301
3,387
22
15
84.0
440
3
2003
Titans
250
3,215
24
7
100.4
138
4
2004
Titans
129
1,343
8
9
73.1
128
1
2005
Titans
292
3,161
16
11
82.4
139
1
2006
Ravens
295
3,050
16
12
82.5
119
1
2007
Ravens
133
1,113
2
4
73.9
32
0
Totals
-
2,733
31,304
274
119
-
3,590
43

Greatest Mississippi Football Players of All TIme

#5 Archie Manning

The calendar athlete of Mississippi attended the University of Mississippi. Yes the college that put integration on the map with the whole Medgar Evers Fiasco. I'm talking about Archie Manning of course, father of 2 NFL Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks (Peyton and Eli). Archie Manning held just about every passing record for Ole Miss. He was later drafted by the New Orlean Saints or Aint's as the came to be known during his days. And let's face it. He literally got screwed. Archie was a great caliber player, but was just not given the weapons to surround him to become a stable in the NFL yearbooks. Players back then really didn't have a say as to who drafted them like the players of today do, Eli for example. You pretty much had to go to who wanted you or you may not be drafted or play. But for all of Archie's failures of a player in the NFL, he surpassed them by producing 2 hall of fame Quarterbacking sons. His best quality that most don't know about is his giving nature and hospitality, which is one of our state names. When the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit, Archie and sons put together bunches of supplies and shipped them down to New Orleans. Money that he did not have to give, that came straight out of his pockets. It really does show the true genuine goodness that he held as a Mississippian.

Archie Manning Career Stats

Year
Team
Completions
Passing Yards
Passing TD's
Interceptions
QB Rating
Rushing Yards
Rushing TD's
1971
Saints
86
1,164
6
9
60.1
172
4
1972
Saints
230
2,781
18
21
64.6
351
2
1973
Saints
140
1,642
10
12
65.2
293
2
1974
Saints
134
1,429
6
16
49.8
204
1
1975
Saints
159
1,683
7
20
44.3
186
1
1976
Saints
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1977
Saints
113
1,284
8
9
68.8
270
5
1978
Saints
291
3,416
17
16
81.7
202
1
1979
Saints
252
3,169
15
20
75.6
186
2
1980
Saints
309
3,716
23
20
81.8
166
0
1981
Saints
134
1,447
5
11
63.6
28
0
1982
Saints
1
3
0
2
-
-
-
1982
Oilers
66
877
6
6
71.3
85
0
1983
Oilers
44
755
8
8
49.2
13
0
1983
Vikings
-
-
-
-
-
-1
0
1984
Vikings
52
545
3
3
66.1
42
0
Totals
-
2,011
23,911
205
215
-
2,197
18

Greatest Mississippi Football Players of All Time

#4 Deacon Jones

Another great that you may have heard of is named David Jones. Though not a native Mississippian, David Jones was dismissed from South Carolina because of a sit in rally during the integration movement. He got an offer from a coach at what is now known as Mississippi Valley State University to play his remaining year of college ball. David Jones was one of, if not the best, Defensive Linemen in NFL history. He actually is said to have been the one to coin the phrase "sack the quarterback". David actually changed the way the game is played today. he was so brutal in trying to make that sack every play, that he would slap the Offensive Linemen on the helmet to dissuade their blocks. A rule was later changed solely because of him that still stands today in the NFL. David is an 8 time Pro Bowler, 5 time 1rst team All Pro, 2 time Defensive Player of the Year and is a member of the 1980 Hall of Fame class. I've been calling him David because that is actually his real name that I would bet many don't even know. David said upon entering the NFL that he wanted to be called Deacon. When asked why, he replied,"Because I think folks would more than likely remember a Deacon instead of a David. Not that him name mattered that much. His play definitely made him stand out from all the rest.

No stats have been recorded for Deacon Jones although it has been said that he averaged 112 tackles and 15 sacks per season, which would give him a total of 1,568 tackles and 200 sacks. Quite a resume.

Greatest Mississippi Football Players of All Time

#3 Jerry Rice

Among the top players in NFL history is a man that was always criticized for some part of his athletic ability. Whether it was that he was too skinny or not fast enough he prevailed through it all. Jerry Rice attended college at Mississippi Valley State University, where he was known by the nickname "World" because when he was on the field, there wasn't anyone in the world that could cover him. There are too many feats he has accomplished to name them all so I will just say he holds pretty much every receiving record at MVSU. He is a 13 time Pro Bowler (11 of them coming consecutively), Pro Bowl MVP, 2 time Offensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year 1985, Super Bowl MVP and 3 time Super Bowl champion (he was in 4 Super Bowls). I can remember my Mississippi History teacher telling us a story about Jerry when she attended college with him in the 80's. She explained that one day the 49ers came to pick Jerry up on a bus, where a lot of other potential 49er signees were on. She said when Jerry entered onto the bus a fellow player said,"Now just who might you be?" Jerry replied, "I'm the greatest receiver to ever play in the NFL." Another little fun fact about Jerry is when he retired. He actually signed a play contract with the 49ers so he could retire as a 49er. The contract was in the amount of $1,985,806.49. The numbers stood for the following: 1985 = his rookie year, 806 = his jersey number 80 & his retirement year 06, and can anyone guess what the 49 stood for? Yeah. 49er's baby.

Jerry Rice Career Stats

Year
Team
Receptions
Receiving Yards
Receiving TD's
Rushes
Rushing Yards
Rushing TD's
1985
49ers
49
927
3
6
26
1
1986
49ers
86
1,570
15
10
72
1
1987
49ers
65
1,078
22
8
51
1
1988
49ers
64
1,306
9
13
107
1
1989
49ers
82
1,483
17
5
33
0
1990
49ers
100
1,502
13
2
0
0
1991
49ers
80
1,206
14
1
2
0
1992
49ers
84
1,201
10
9
58
1
1993
49ers
98
1,503
15
3
69
1
1994
49ers
112
1,499
13
7
93
2
1995
49ers
122
1,848
15
5
36
1
1996
49ers
108
1,254
8
11
77
1
1997
49ers
7
78
1
1
-10
0
1998
49ers
82
1,157
9
0
0
0
1999
49ers
67
830
5
2
13
0
2000
49ers
75
805
7
1
-2
0
2001
Raiders
83
1,139
9
0
0
0
2002
Raiders
92
1,211
7
3
20
0
2003
Raiders
63
869
2
0
0
0
2004
Raiders/Seahawks
30
429
3
0
0
0
Career
 
1,549
22,895
197
86
645
10

Greatest Mississippi Football Players of All Time

#2 Walter Payton

Next on our list is, in my opinion, one of the top 10 players to ever step onto the gridiron. He has held literally every rushing record that there is at one point. Most rushing yards in a game. Most TDs in a career. Most rushing yards in a year. The list goes on. He was a 9 time Pro Bowler, 6 time 1rst team All Pro, League MVP, Pro Bowl MVP and Super Bowl Champion. "Sweetness" Walter Payton hails from Jackson State University. He was definitely a student of the game, always finding a different means of running around or over another if he had to. Sadly in 1999 Walter lost a long struggling battle with a rare liver disease. Today he is the only player I know that has both a college and NFL award named in his honor.

Walter Payton Career Stats

Year
Attempts
Rushing Yards
Rushing TD's
Receptions
Receiving Yards
Receiving TD's
1975
196
679
7
33
213
0
1976
311
1,390
13
15
149
0
1977
339
1,852
14
27
269
2
1978
333
1,395
11
50
480
0
1979
369
1,610
14
31
313
2
1980
317
1,460
6
46
367
1
1981
339
1,222
6
41
379
2
1982
148
596
1
32
311
0
1983
314
1,421
6
53
607
2
1984
381
1,684
11
45
368
0
1985
324
1,551
9
49
483
2
1986
321
1,333
8
37
382
3
1987
146
533
4
33
217
1
Career
3,838
16,726
110
492
4,358
15

Greatest Mississippi Football Players of All Time

#1 Brett Favre

Onto our final Mississippi football star. He started just 6 years after Jerry actually. This guy is my all time favorite because through all the money and fame he remains the same old country boy he has always been. Still has a ranch down here in Mississippi and family. "The old Gunslinger" Brett Favre. Brett is a 3 time League MVP, Super Bowl Champion and MVP, multiple Pro Bowls and is now in, get this, his 20th NFL Season as a Quarterback. Brett played his college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he was once a third string Quarterback. He overcame a devastating wreck to come back and compete and become known nationwide. He was drafted by the Falcons in the 1991 draft then later traded off to the Packers because truthfully the Falcons already had a young Quarterback that was Super Bowl bound. But Brett still won his first. So ha. Brett is one of the top 3 most recognized sports stars in the world. I dare you to turn ESPN on and not hear his name for within 15 minutes. Like him or hate him, Brett is truly one of the all time greats. He holds nearly every passing record there is except for TD's in a season (Mr. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning 2nd, Dan Marino 3rd). Can you say Hall of Fame?

Brett Favre Career Stats

Year
Team
Completions
Passing Yards
Passing TD's
Interceptions
QB Rating
Rushing Yards
Rushing TD's
1991
Falcons
0
0
0
2
0.0
0
0
1992
Packers
302
3,227
18
13
85.3
198
1
1993
Packers
318
3,303
19
24
72.2
216
1
1994
Packers
363
3,882
33
14
90.7
202
2
1995
Packers
359
4,413
38
13
99.5
181
3
1996
Packers
325
3,899
39
13
95.8
136
2
1997
Packers
304
3,867
35
16
92.6
187
1
1998
Packers
347
4,212
31
23
87.8
133
1
1999
Packers
341
4,091
22
23
74.7
142
0
2000
Packers
338
3,812
20
16
78.0
108
0
2001
Packers
314
3,921
32
15
94.1
56
1
2002
Packers
341
3,658
27
16
85.6
73
0
2003
Packers
308
3,361
32
21
90.4
15
0
2004
Packers
346
4,088
30
17
92.4
36
0
2005
Packers
372
3,881
20
29
70.9
62
0
2006
Packers
343
3,885
18
18
72.7
29
1
2007
Packers
356
4,155
28
15
95.7
12
0
2008
Jets
343
3,472
22
22
81.0
43
1
2009
Vikings
363
4,202
33
7
107.2
7
0
2010
Vikings
60
597
2
6
60.4
-2
0
Career
-
6,143
69,926
499
323
86.4
1,834
14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I'm sorry I left so many out, but I think i have drawn this out as long as need by now. I will list some of the top tier Football Stars below if you want to check them out later. Hope all of you enjoyed this and learned a little something. Let me know what you think please.

  1. Charlie Conerly
  2. Jason Campbell
  3. Jevan Snead
  4. John Avery
  5. J.J. Johnson
  6. Benjarvis Green-Ellis
  7. Dexter McCluster
  8. Deuce McAllister
  9. Jerious Norwood
  10. Anthony Dixon
  11. Correll Buckhalter
  12. Clinton Portis
  13. Charles Stackhouse
  14. Justin Griffith
  15. Wesley Walls
  16. Kris Mangum
  17. Reggie Kelly
  18. Donald Lee
  19. Joe Horn
  20. Donald Driver
  21. Eric Moulds
  22. Fred Barnett
  23. Michael Oher
  24. Floyd Womack
  25. Jackie Slater
  26. Lem Barney
  27. Von Hutchins
  28. Ken Lucas
  29. Fred Smoot
  30. Fred Thomas
  31. Eric Warfield
  32. Patrick Willis
  33. Freddie Nunn
  34. Peria Jerry
  35. Derrick Burgess
  36. Tim Bowens

Who Is your Favorite Mississippi Football Great

  • Brett Favre
  • Jerry Rice
  • Walter Payton
  • Deacon Jones
  • Archie Manning
  • Eli Manning
  • Steve McNair
  • Patrick Willis
  • Deuce McAllister
  • Wesley Walls
See results without voting

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Comments 2 comments

bgamall profile image

bgamall 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

We 49er fans can thank Mississippi for Jerry Rice. He should be number one since he destroyed positional and all time records.

I have a story about Deacon Jones. He had been sent to the Chargers at the end of his career. My HS teammate, Gary Boreham, a slight (170 lbs), but amazingly athletic star at Fresno State, was going to be the punt returner for the Chargers. He was the fastest 40 yarder I ever saw. But when he saw Jones run wind sprints, he decided to get married and live somewhat happily ever after, fearing major injury from guys as fast as Jones. And that was at the end of the great defensive end's career.

I once saw Deacon Jones in the La Coliseum in an all star game, and you could hear him hitting pads way up in the stands. This was truly one of the greatest players ever.


Fenixfan profile image

Fenixfan 6 years ago from Mississippi Author

I had a really hard time deciding on whether to approve this comment or not because the story was somewhat better than my hub. Ha ha. That is a funny story though. I would have probably done the same. Deacon was definitely a wild man. I wasn't able to see him play live, but I have seen every game that was recorded with him in it and he is nothing short of amazing.

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