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Willie Richardson


Willie Louis Richardson

Inducted 2003

Date of Birth



Clarksdale, MS


Jackson State University (1959-1962)


The son of a minister, Willie Richardson began playing football without the approval of his father. The elder Richardson found out about his son's playing by reading his name in the newspaper. When he came to Jackson State he was unable to play quarterback due to a hand injury. As a freshman, he moved to receiver and became a starter in the second game of the season after Jackson State lost their opener 52-6. Known as "Wonderful Willie," Willie Richardson became one of the most honored players in the great history of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Richardson was one of just a handful of players to be a four-time member of the Pittsburgh Courier Black All-America team. In addition, he was a three-time All-SWAC performer and a two-time NAIA All-America. In his final two seasons he led the Tigers to SWAC titles in 1961, and again the following season as Jackson State claimed the Black College National Championship. On offense, Richardson caught 171 passes for 36 touchdowns while he played safety on defense. At the end of his career, the city of Jackson held "Willie Richardson Day" that included a parade as part of ceremonies that retired his jersey number and named him the first inductee into the Jackson State Hall of Fame. In the pros, Richardson was a seventh round selection by the Baltimore Colts. With the Colts and Dolphins, Richardson played eight seasons catching 195 passes for 25 touchdowns.


Height 6'1

Weight 198

Career Highlights

  • 1962 All-Conference
  • 1962 First Team All-America (College Div., HBCU, NAIA)
  • 1961 All-Conference
  • 1961 First Team All-America (HBCU, NAIA)
  • 1960 All-Conference
  • 1960 First Team All-America (HBCU)
  • 1959 First Team All-America (HBCU)
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