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Jerry Rice is widely considered one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. Rice’s son, Brenden Rice, followed in his father’s footsteps and recently became an NFL receiver.

The younger Rice finished his college football career with 1,821 receiving yards. Earlier this year, he declared for the NFL Draft, and last month fell to the Los Angeles Chargers in the seventh round. 

While many projections had Brenden as a Day 2 or Day draft pick, his slide to the final round of the draft took some by surprise — especially his Hall of Fame father.

“My dad was hot,” Rice told reporters as he smiled. “You guys get the flash like … the humble dude, right? Me, he’s like, ‘Hell no, we’re going to take this to a different level. These guys going to feel us.'”

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Jerry Rice poses for a picture with his son, Brenden Rice #WO25 of Southern California, during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Kara Durrette/Getty Images)

Rice attended his friend’s funeral on the same day the Chargers called and told him he would be one of their draft picks.

“It was just like a blessing from God because he allowed me to go ahead and just mourn the death of my friend,” Rice said, “and then after that just go ahead and be happy, and it was a glorious day.”

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He found the silver lining in his unexpected tumble in the draft. The 22-year-old now gets the opportunity to catch passes from quarterback Justin Herbert.

“I’m in the best position possible to go ahead and make my mark and make my own legacy. I went from Caleb Williams to Justin Herbert, and I’m in a room that’s going to allow me to compete, day-in and day-out,” Rice said.

Jerry Rice talks with his son

Former pro football player and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Jerry Rice, talks with his son, Brenden Rice #2 of the USC Trojans, following the spring football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on April 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The Chargers moved on from wide receiver Mike Williams and traded away six-time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen this offseason, which gives Rice an opportunity to play a significant role in the team’s offense.

“Everything’s upon me. If you guys don’t see me coming on this fall, that’s on me. If you guys see me out there, then I put in the necessary work to put my best foot in the door and go out there and produce.”

Caleb Williams and Brenden Rice pro day

USC quarterback Caleb Williams, right, talks with Austin Jones, #6, Brenden Rice, #2, and Tahj Washington, #16, at Pro Day at USC on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

Rice spent the first two seasons of his college football career at Colorado, before transferring to USC in 2022.

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Brenden suggested that it remains to be determined whether he is a better athlete than his father was, but he is certainly motivated to surpass his dad’s NFL rookie production.

“I feel as though we’re neck and neck. I’m faster, and I heard his rookie season in the NFL wasn’t good,” Rice said. “I gotta go top him.”

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