It’s been nearly 60 years since Richard Price last suited up on a football field, but the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame finally called on the “Possum” as the former Ole Miss All-American was inducted Saturday night at the Jackson Convention Center.
While Price originally hails from Vicksburg, he has spent most of his adult life in Columbia and was proud to represent the small town in Jackson.
“It was very humbling, and I was really, really happy to have Marion County share the night with me,” he said. “It was just real good. I just can’t describe how humble and proud I was of our city and the people that were represented at the Hall of Fame with me.”
Price said being inducted was everything he had hoped it would be and more.
“It was satisfying to finally be able to be mentioned with some of the men I really respected coming up like coach (Johnny) Vaught and coach (Bruiser) Kinard. And then so many of my football buddies that I played with then, to be mentioned alongside them really means something to me,” he said.
“Possum” earned second team All-America honors as a senior for the Rebels in 1960 and All-Southeastern Conference recognition in his final two seasons. As a left guard and linebacker, Price was a starter on two national championship teams, won two Sugar Bowls and helped guide Ole Miss to a 29-3-1 record in three years.
Price also holds the distinctive honor of being the first sophomore to ever start for legendary head coach Johnny Vaught. At that time freshmen didn’t play with the varsity, and there weren’t any players leaving school early for the NFL.
The 80-year-old said he was honored to have his family there with him for the induction and that the honor is icing on the cake.
“At my age, getting up every morning and being able to make it through the day is a great achievement. Being in the Hall is great and just fun,” he said.
The former Rebel said he was surprised by the turnout for the ceremony and that it’s a relief and an honor to be enshrined.
“There were so many people that came from so many places that I wasn’t even aware of. They were there to see me. It was just good,” he said. “I thought (the Hall of Fame) had forgot me and I would never go in.”
Price added that he also enjoyed being able to express his faith during his induction speech.
Pictured Above: Columbia resident and Ole Miss football legend Richard “Possum” Price gets inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Saturday and is pictured with Steve Jent, left, executive director of the Sanderson Farms Championship, and Hall of Fame Board President Chris Correro. | Photo by Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame