During halftime of Saturday’s home football game against Southern University, Alcorn State officially retired Steve McNair’s No. 9 jersey. The university also officially declared Oct. 26 as Steve McNair day.
McNair, who played at Alcorn State from 1991-1994 and went on to star in the NFL for more than a decade, was shot to death at the age of 36 in July 2009.
Alcorn State president Felecia Nave led the halftime ceremony saying “it was time” for the number retirement to occur.
McNair’s Alcorn State teammates along with his widow Mechelle and son Trent were in attendance for the celebration. The McNair family received a plaque in Steve’s honor that showcased his nickname Steve “Air II” McNair.
McNair passed for more than 2,800 yards in all four of his years at Alcorn State. During his senior season, he recorded a still-standing FCS record 6,281 yards of total offense. McNair won the Walter Payton Trophy, an honor awarded annually to the top college football player at the FCS level, and was a Heisman Trophy finalist.
In the 1995 NFL Draft, the Houston Oilers selected McNair as the No. 3 overall pick. He would stay with the franchise through its move to Tennessee when the team became the Titans. In June 2006, he was then traded to the Baltimore Ravens. McNair spent 2 seasons with the Ravens before announcing his retirement in April 2008. He ended his career a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
The Titans also retired McNair’s No. 9 jersey during halftime of their home opener this season against the Indianapolis Colts.