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Mount Rushmore of Mississippi Sports

Walter Payton suited up for the Jackson State Tigers from 1971 to 1974 (Photo courtesy of HBCU Gameday)

2) Walter Payton

No one was sweeter on the football field than Walter Payton, hence his famous nickname of “Sweetness,” as the Columbia native and Jackson State product rushed for 16,726 yards and 110 touchdowns over 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears. Not only was Payton great with the ball in his hand, but he is arguably one of the best blocking backs in league history. Thanks to a mean stiff arm, a refusal to go out of bounds, an unstoppable goal line leap, and a more than admirable training regimen, Payton is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, running backs the NFL has ever seen.

Interesting fact: Payton’s training regimen included the use of an obstacle course he built on the banks of the Pearl River.



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