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Mississippi's Mt. Rushmore of Sports

2/2/2009

ESPN reviewed the submissions and discussions on your state/region's conversation page. The four figures on Mississippi's Sports Rushmore are below:

Brett Favre (Kiln, Southern Miss Golden Eagles) -
The three-time NFL MVP is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions.

Archie Manning (Drew, Ole Miss Rebels) -
Manning finished in the top four of Heisman balloting twice and was the No. 2 pick in the 1972 NFL Draft. Two of his sons (Peyton and Eli) were selected No. 1 overall in NFL drafts.

Walter Payton (Columbia, Jackson State Tigers) -
He set the NCAA-record with 65 rush touchdowns at Jackson St. The Hall of Famer was a two-time NFL MVP and nine-time Pro Bowler.

Jerry Rice (Crawford, Mississippi Valley State) -
The NFL all-time leader in total touchdowns. The Hall of Famer is regarded as one of the best players in NFL history.

Other standouts (even more nominees in conversation)

Lance Alworth (Brookhaven)
- First AFL player inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

James "Cool Papa" Bell (Starkville)
- Widely considered 'fastest man to ever play baseball,' member of Baseball Hall of Fame

Will Clark (Mississippi State Bulldogs)
- 1985 Golden Spikes Award winner; Inducted into College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006

Dizzy Dean (Bond)
- 4 straight NL strikeout titles from '42-45; 3-time 20-game winner; won 30 games in 1934

Ray Guy (Southern Miss Golden Eagles)
- First pure punter to ever be drafted in 1st round of NFL draft

Frank "Bruiser" Kinard (Jackson)
- Consensus All-Time All American (1936, 1937); member of College Football Hall of Fame

Eli Manning (Ole Miss Rebels)
- Set or tied 47 Ole Miss offensive records, in No. 1 pick in 2004 NFL draft

Steve McNair (Mount Olive, Alcorn State)
- 3rd in 1994 Heisman Trophy voting despite playing in I-AA, 2003 co-NFL MVP with Titans

Ron Polk (Starkville, Mississippi State Bulldogs)
- Winningest coach in SEC history, led Bulldogs to 6 CWS appearances

John H. Vaught (Oxford, Ole Miss Rebels)
- Led Rebels to 6 SEC titles, 18 Bowl appearances and 1960 National Championship

Other potential nominees: Charlie Conerly (Clarksdale, Ole Miss Rebels), Erick Dampier (Monticello, Mississippi State Bulldogs), Roy Oswalt (Weir), Ray Perkins (Mount Olive)