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Jerry Rice Jr. declines to wear No. 80 at 49ers rookie minicamp

jerryrice AP

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.

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22 Responses to “Jerry Rice Jr. declines to wear No. 80 at 49ers rookie minicamp”
  1. unbridledsexy says: May 23, 2014 4:11 PM

    this kids got class

  2. Go-Hawks! says: May 23, 2014 4:11 PM

    Good kid. Respect.

  3. greenejoemean says: May 23, 2014 4:15 PM

    Good decision.

  4. qdog112 says: May 23, 2014 4:17 PM

    Who am I to kill a dream, but sometimes it’s not wise to go into the family business. It rarely works out when the father was great and the son has not proven to be even good on a collegiate level.

    Unless second generation guys are way better than their dads, it could get ugly. SEE: G.H. and G. W. Bush.

    Manning, Payton, Dorsett, Luck. etc. (exceptions)

  5. sourdoughsam says: May 23, 2014 4:19 PM

    He may not be the player his dad was, but he can’t help that. What he can control is his approach to life and I’d say this kid is doing a pretty good job in that regard. Best of luck to him.

  6. blacknole08 says: May 23, 2014 4:20 PM

    He doesn’t want to live in his pop’s shadow and wants to make his own way. Gotta respect that.

  7. jayblack073 says: May 23, 2014 4:24 PM

    Good heart, but probably not gonna make it, although maybe he can teach some certain 9er players about having respect for the game they play, and the organisation they play for

  8. ytownjoe says: May 23, 2014 4:30 PM

    Nice of the 49ers to give him a chance.

  9. 49erstim says: May 23, 2014 4:40 PM

    Good call youngster.

  10. robert831 says: May 23, 2014 4:42 PM

    I hope he makes the practice squad. Just having his attitude, work ethic, and dad around would be a great addition to practice.

  11. touchdownroddywhite says: May 23, 2014 4:47 PM

    Wasn’t there just an article a week or so ago that he was trying to make the Ravens roster? Pack it up kid. Your dad didn’t pass along the magic.

  12. mackcarrington says: May 23, 2014 5:07 PM

    He carries the name, but he doesn’t have the stones to bring the game. He should embrace his father’s legacy by wearing his number. If he’s going to follow in his dad’s footsteps by going into the same sport and playing the same position, then he should be willing to carry the weight that goes with it. He’s becoming an embarrassment to his father’s legacy. Why do you think he was named Jerry Rice Jr.?

  13. bayoor75 says: May 23, 2014 5:33 PM

    Class or not, well behaved or not, respect or not, this guy is just living off his father’s name. How many WRs with less than 300 yards receiving in college (yes, over 4 years) get a chance at the NFL? not to talk of 2 chances.

    Pack it up and go get a real job or go into business – your dad has the money to help you get started.

  14. melikefootball says: May 23, 2014 6:37 PM

    Oh how the league office should look into this situation.

  15. afcdomination says: May 23, 2014 6:45 PM

    whatever you want. I loved to wear my dad’s number, I did it as sort of a homage to him. at my HS his number had been retired, so to me it can go both ways. I Think it meant a lot to him for me to wear it, and then in college to do the same(Basketball)

    but I understand not wanting to look like you think you are your father, and are your own man

  16. mitybuc says: May 23, 2014 8:02 PM

    If he can make it on special teams or practice squad for starts…..this has the making of a Great story.

  17. 700levelvet says: May 23, 2014 8:59 PM

    He had like 9 receptions in.4 years of college. Why on earth was he even invited ? Seriously

  18. muencht says: May 23, 2014 9:14 PM

    As mitybuc says … Step 1 is to get a chance, even the practice squad. Anything to get your foot in the locker room door. As I said in another article, Jerry Rice Jr. knows he has to make it on his own merits. But, it doesn’t hurt to have a father who is a legend! If Jr. has half the skill level of Sr. he has a chance.

  19. revren10 says: May 23, 2014 10:23 PM

    The niners are doing it as a favor to daddy. Gone before pre season kids got no skill

  20. joeytranchina says: May 23, 2014 11:17 PM

    Johnny Weissmuller Jr. was my friend. A big name is a lot for a kid to carry, at least, until he has time to grow into his own. That’s the great thing about sports; what’s real happens on the field.

    Last time I checked there’ve been first-round draft picks who could not make it on the next level and walk-on super-stars. So, we’ll see.

    Even though he killed me once playing laser tag, Jerry Rice has always been a good guy. I’m sure he’ll be proud of his son however it goes in camp.

  21. red2616 says: May 24, 2014 2:14 AM

    Not sure how he got a tryout? Oh that’s right, his Dad. He doesn’t want to live in his Dad’s shadow? Then he should not have had a tryout? No other team was interested AT ALL. And rightfully so. So if he really doesn’t want to ride his Dad’s name then he should be in a different profession. With that said. God speed. I met Jerry Rice a few times and good people. With all the respect to both of them but seriously it reminds of the GOAT fax.

  22. lolo376 says: May 24, 2014 9:40 AM

    If he wants to be his own man he wouldn’t behaving his father making calls to get him into the niners team, he should be earning it like everyone else has, drafted or undrafted!

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