Jerry Rice was born in Crawford, Mississippi, the sixth of eight children. Growing up, Jerry and his brothers helped out with their father's bricklaying business. It was here that most think Jerry developed his now famous hand-eye coordination.
As a kid, Jerry was always very active and loved playing sports and riding horses. However, it wasn't until his sophomore year in high school that Jerry actually began playing football. And when it came time for his senior year, the offers to play collegiate ball were endless. Jerry chose Mississippi Valley State and also made a promise to himself that one day he would become a pro and finally be able to buy his parents a brand new home.
While playing ball at Mississippi Valley State, Jerry set and broke every school record. But it was his performance in the Blue-Grey game that caught the eye of San Francisco 49ers coach, Bill Walsh. And although Jerry wasn't the fastest player on the field, Walsh recognized his potential. So in the 16th round of the 1985 draft, Jerry Rice became a 49er.
Jerry struggled his rookie year, but had his "coming out" during his second season with the team. He was named NFL Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated and from then on, the records started to fly.
Jerry Rice's sixteen seasons with the 49ers, teamed with Joe Montana, produced a football player who is today recognized as the greatest wide receiver to play in the NFL. He broke record after record on his way to the top; was selected to twelve Pro Bowls, made a Super Bowl appearance and was twice named Player of the Year.
Now in his seventeenth season, Jerry plays with his second NFL team, the Oakland Raiders.
As much as playing football means to Jerry, his family is still the most important thing. In September 1987, Jerry married his college sweetheart, Jackie, and together they have three children.