The 49ers have retired the No. 80 jersey worn by Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, but they offered to give it to one wide receiver who is trying out at San Francisco’s rookie minicamp this weekend.
That wide receiver is Jerry Rice Jr., who is hoping to catch on in the NFL after finishing a college career in which he was mostly a backup and special teams player. But while Rice Jr. had the chance to wear his dad’s No. 80 jersey, he declined.
The 49ers have announced that Rice Jr. will wear No. 83 instead. Rice Jr. wants to be his own man, and he doesn’t feel pressured to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
“My dad just wants me to make it anywhere and do the best I can,” he said.
Rice Jr. is a long shot just to make the 49ers’ 90-man training camp roster, let alone the 53-man regular-season roster. If he does make it, he’ll make it with a new number under a familiar name.