April 6, 1965|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||207 lb (94 kg)|
|High school:||Glennville (GA)|
|NFL Draft:||1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Sterling Sharpe (born April 6, 1965) is a former American football wide receiver and analyst for the NFL Network. He attended the University of South Carolina, and played from 1988 to 1994 with the Green Bay Packers in a career shortened by injuries.
Early life and college
Growing up, Sharpe lived in Glennville, Georgia, with his grandmother and siblings, including his brother, Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. He attended Glennville High School, playing running back, quarterback and linebacker and was a member of the basketball and track teams. As a wide receiver at the University of South Carolina, Sharpe set school records with 169 career receptions and 2,497 receiving yards and a since-broken record of 17 career touchdowns. He also set the school record for single-season receiving touchdowns with 11, which was broken in 2005 by Sidney Rice. Sharpe's No. 2 jersey was retired by South Carolina at the end of the 1987 regular season, making him the second Gamecock to be granted this honor while still playing. His college coach and mentor, William "Tank" Black, left the Gamecocks to become a player manager and represented Sharpe throughout his professional career. Sharpe was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Sharpe was the first round seventh overall draft pick by the Packers in 1988 and had an immediate impact on the team. In his rookie season he started all sixteen games and caught 55 passes. His sophomore season he led the league with 90 receptions, the first Packer to do so since Don Hutson in 1945, and broke Hutson's records for receptions and receiving yards in a season. Sharpe was known as a tough receiver with strong hands, who was willing to go over the middle to make difficult catches in traffic.
A few years later, in 1992, Sharpe and the new quarterback, Brett Favre, teamed up to become one of the top passing tandems in the league. In the final game of that season he and Favre hooked up for Sharpe's 107th reception of the season which broke the NFL's single-season receptions record, set by Art Monk in 1984. That season, Sharpe became one of only six players in NFL history to win the outright "Triple Crown" at the receiver position: leading the league in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions. Ray Flaherty (1932), Don Hutson (1936, 1941–44), Elroy Hirsch (1951), Raymond Berry (1959) led all three categories during the same season in years before the Super Bowl era. Jerry Rice (1990) is the only other player to accomplish this feat since the first Super Bowl season. In the 1993 season Sharpe subsequently broke his own record, with 112 receptions; this also made him the first player to have consecutive seasons catching more than 100 passes. In 1994, his 18 touchdown receptions were the second most in league history at the time, behind Jerry Rice's 22 in 1987. On October 24, 1993, Sharpe became the second Packer in team history to catch four touchdown passes in one game since Don Hutson in 1945.
Sterling Sharpe's tenure at wide receiver was cut short by a neck injury suffered toward the end of the 1994 regular season, ending a career in which he was invited to the Pro Bowl five times (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1994). Since he was unable to continue playing, and was not on the Packers team that won the Super Bowl in 1996, his brother Shannon gave him the first of the three Super Bowl rings he won, citing him as a major influence in his life by saying:
|“||The two people who influenced me the most, good or bad, are Sterling and my grandmother. Everything I know about being a man, about football, everything I know about sports, pretty much in life, is because of those two people.||”|
His younger brother, Shannon Sharpe, was one of the NFL's top tight ends from the 1990s to the early 2000s (decade). Shannon retired in 2003 and once again followed in his brother's footsteps, becoming a sportscaster for the NFL pregame show on CBS, The NFL Today. Shannon Sharpe was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. In his Hall of Fame speech, Shannon implored the Hall of Fame voters to consider Sterling's candidacy.
NFL career statistics
|Led the league|
- "Sterling Sharpe Biography". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- "Sterling Sharpe - Biography - IMDb". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- "Injury Could End Sharpe's Career". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- "Super Bowl XXXVI". static.espn.go.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-24. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- "Sterling Sharpe Stats". pro-football-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 25, 2016.