Former Tennessee State football great Jerrold McRae was inducted to the Oak Park High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame on July 5 in Laurel, Miss. The association honors former students from OPHS which was used only as elementary school after the late 1960’s.
“I am extremely proud to have been inducted into the Oak Park Alumni Association Hall of Fame,” McRae said. “This is my roots, as it relates to my foundation as a person and student athlete. Due to desegregation, I completed my high school career at R. H. Watkins High School, but my heart has always rested with Oak Park. I am now a part of this great family of “Dragons” which includes my late Brother Louis A. McRae, Sr. and fellow (TSU) Alum Ralph Boston.”
McRae attended Oak Park School from first grade through ninth. He started his football career at Oak Park as a Quarterback in the ninth grade helping the squad reach the Mississippi State Football Championship. The following year, due to desegregation, he continued his football career at R.H. Watkins High School.
McRae lettered and earned All-Big 8 honors in football, basketball and baseball. He was also selected to play in the Mississippi High School All Star Football Games. McRae came to Tennessee State and was a member of the 1973 National Championship Team. He was a two-time All American wide receiver and played in the East and West Shrine Football Classic. After graduation from TSU, McRae was drafted in the fourth round of the National Football League by the Kansas City Chiefs and ended his professional career playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
McRae served for over 20 years in higher education leadership and management, of which 14 years were in the capacity of Director of Operations for the Department of Facilities Management at TSU. McRae also successfully completed several major renovation projects, including Bridgestone Arena, the multi-million dollar indoor practice facility for TSU and managed the renovation of Hale Stadium.