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All-Americans Gather at Off Square Books to Celebrate, Discuss & Sign — ‘The Mississippi Football Book’

Veteran sportswriter Rick Cleveland and writer/publisher Neil White have partnered to produce a new coffee-table book, “The Mississippi Football Book.”

Part narrative, part encyclopedia, and part “Guinness Book of World Records,” “The Mississippi Football Book” features the greatest teams, coaches, and players from Mississippi’s remarkable football past — and present.

At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29, Cleveland and White will be joined at Off Square Books by former Ole Miss All-Americans Jake Gibbs, Mike Dennis and Todd Wade to sign and discuss the new publication.

Cleveland, the most decorated sportswriter in Mississippi history, wrote in his introduction, “Relatively small and poor and ranked near the bottom in so many statistical categories, the Magnolia State kicks tail when it comes to football talent. We lead the nation in producing the most NFL players and Pro Football Hall of Famers per capita. It’s not even close.”

White said of his co-author, “Rick Cleveland has been interviewing sports figures for more than five decades. His first-hand stories — directly from the mouths of Mississippi’s greatest players — make this book a real treasure.”

Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. Photo provided

In addition to feature stories on the state’s greatest players, “The Mississippi Football Book” also ranks the top passers, rushers, receivers, and defenders at every level of play — from high school to professionals. The book also lists every national championship team, every single-season statistical leader, every member of the Pro, College, and JUCO Football Halls of Fame, the winningest teams and coaches in history, rare feats, Mississippi football and pop culture, Mississippi football in film, notable Mississippi football books, not-so-great-moments in Mississippi football history, and much, much more.

“The Mississippi Football Book”  is on sale for $45 at Square Books. To reserve a signed copy, contact Square Books at squarebooks.com or 662-236-2262.

About the Authors

Neil White lives in Oxford, where he operates Nautilus Publishing. Photo provided

Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, he has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News, and Clarion Ledger.

He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, and executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sportswriter has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals, and newspapers.

Cleveland has been recognized 14 times as Mississippi Sportswriter of the Year (his first was in 1973 at age 20; his 14th was 50 years later in 2023). He is also the recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.

Neil White lives in Oxford where he operates Nautilus Publishing, writes essays, and teaches memoir writing.

His New York Times bestselling memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (Morrow/HarperCollins), garnered critical acclaim. He has written, edited, or published over 50 books, including co-authoring memoirs with football greats Robert Khayat and Larry Csonka.

Staff report

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