Walls to be inducted into Mississippi Sports HOF

Published 12:02 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Former Ole Miss All-American Wesley Walls will join the large Rebel contingent in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame next year as the Hall announced its 2016 induction class Monday night.

Walls is one of six Mississippi greats who will be inducted in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame on July 30. The other members are Millsaps football legend Sean Brewer (son of Ole Miss great Johnny Brewer), Mississippi State winningest football coach Jackie Sherrill, Alcorn State and NBA basketball great Larry Smith, Southern Miss women’s basketball coaching legend Kay James and football trailblazer Willie Heidelburg, Mississippi’s first Division I African-American football player and standout.

Voting was done by a statewide selection committee representing all facets of Mississippi sports.

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One of the most acclaimed players in Ole Miss history, last year Walls became the ninth former player or coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as an Ole Miss Rebel, and the 11th member of the Rebel family overall to be enshrined in Atlanta.

After playing strictly as a defensive end his first three seasons in Oxford, Walls transformed into a two-way player his senior year when the team needed a tight end. The 1988 team captain amassed 36 receptions for 426 yards and three touchdowns at tight end en route to earning AP first team All-America and All-SEC honors.

As a defensive end, he recorded 140 career tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, and he led the Rebels to a win in the 1986 Independence Bowl. One of the most memorable moments of his Rebel career came in the 1988 Alabama game when Ole Miss upset the 12th-ranked Tide 22-12 in Tuscaloosa and did not allow a pass completion all game. Walls had seven catches for 79 yards and a key QB sack in the victory.

The Pontotoc native was an Academic All-American and three-time academic all-conference selection while at Ole Miss. He was chosen as a member of the 1980s All-SEC Team and honored as an SEC Legend in 2007.

Chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft, Walls enjoyed a decorated 15-year NFL career, helping the 49ers win Super Bowl XXIV during his rookie campaign. A five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro selection, he also played for the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.