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MISSISSIPPI'S NATIONAL RANK
No. 34 pro | No. 15 college | No. 15 high school
Mississippi has flooded the NFL with talented players over the years. Jackson State alone boasts a Hall of Fame lineup of Walter Payton (21,803 yards rushing and receiving), Lions cornerback Lem Barney and tackle Jackie Slater (20 seasons for the Rams). And it's only a matter of time until Mississippi Valley State receiver Jerry Rice and Southern Miss quarterback Brett Favre join them. Mississippi tackle Frank "Bruiser" Kinard earned his nickname in the NFL of the 1930s and '40s.
Literary legends are nice, but quarterback Archie Manning's story is nonfiction. Current Giants quarterback Eli Manning walked through The Grove, as did running back Deuce McAllister. Coach Johnny Vaught's teams won 190 games, including a share of the 1960 national title. The Rebels battle for the Golden Egg with Mississippi State, a charter member of the SEC. Among the Bulldogs in the NFL are wide receiver Eric Moulds. Punter Ray Guy played at Southern Miss.
Pound-for-pound, Mississippi has some of the most talented football players in America, with nine ESPN 150 players over the past two years. It also has tough national high school programs such as Meridian and South Panola. Spring 2006 DI signees: 50. Fall 2006 high school football teams: 237.
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