Just about 75 miles north of Meridian is the small town of Crawford. With less than a thousand residents, it is one of Mississippi's smallest towns, but it produced one of the NFL's biggest names...Jerry Rice. The all-pro wide receiver says he never looks back and wonders how he did it.
"I'm not surprised. I still have to pinch myself because of some of the things I did on the football field, but I think it was meant to be and it's all about going for it," said Rice.
Through all of his success, Rice has never forgotten his roots and says he loves coming back to visit the Magnolia State.
"I've been very fortunate because I have a lot of support from Mississippi and also from people all over the world. That shows me that I did things the right way. My approach to the game, I was very professional and I just wanted to go out there and give it my all."
In addition to his greatness on the football field, Rice found a new fan base among women and young people that didn't see him as much on the gridiron when he was participating in ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Even now in his retirement, the former Mississippi Valley State football star doesn't shy away from the limelight.
"I really look at myself as being a role model. A lot of guys don't want to wear those shoes, but if I can set the right example, maybe it can help these guys out and point them in the right direction and let them know that you don't have to go to the major schools to be successful, that you can make it from a smaller school."