Alcorn State, MS—-Son, husband, brother, father, teammate, leader, philanthropist, and Alcornite are all words that describe former quarterback, Steve “Air II” McNair. The Alcorn State community is still in shock over the news of McNair’s tragic death. McNair’s legacy on the “Reservation” (as it was called during McNair’s day) is one that Alcornites will hold near and dear to their hearts.
During his matriculation at Alcorn, McNair broke many records including becoming the only player in NCAA history to gain more than 16,000 yards (16,823) in a college career. He set nine records alone as a freshman. Among his accolades, he was named Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year four years in a row; received the Walter Payton Award (top Division I-AA player), garnered the Eddie Robinson Trophy (top player in college ranks); received NCAA and AFCA All-American Honors and placed third in the 1994 Heisman race which made him the first Division I-AA player to rank in the top five since Jerry Rice in 1985. He became one of only three Alcorn Braves to have their jersey retired, joining Jack Spinks and, brother, Fred McNair.
McNair’s NFL career spanned 13 years with the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens.
On January 30, 2000, he became the second black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl. In 2003, McNair was named Associated Press’ co-MVP (shared with Peyton Manning), Sports Illustrated Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated All-Pro, second team Associated Press All-Pro, Football Digest second team All-Pro, captain of Howie Long’s Tough Guy Team, and Pro Bowl starter. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October.
McNair retired from the NFL in April 2008 with 174 touchdowns, 31, 304 passing yards, 3, 590 rushing yards, 37 rushing touchdowns and a passer rating of 82.8.
A public memorial for McNair is set for Thursday at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Whites Creek , Tennessee , from 3 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. CST. A memorial service is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST at the church. A funeral is also expected to be scheduled for Saturday in Hattiesburg , Mississippi .
In lieu of flowers, fans are asked to make a donation to the Steve McNair Foundation, 1 Willow Bend Drive, Hattiesburg , Mississippi 39402 .