JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Jackson State University and football community are mourning the loss of Willie Richardson.

The legendary football player died Monday afternoon.

Legends are rare with names etched in time.

We remember them for their accomplishments, their work and the impact they’ve made on the world as we know it.

Today the state of Mississippi lost a legend in Mr. Willie Richardson but his legacy lives on.

“He revolutionized the game of wide receiver at Jackson State; he’ll always be remembered as one of the greatest wide receivers to come through here,” James Hartfield, the JSU Kicking Coach, said.

Richardson passed away at 76 from natural causes.

The news sent shock waves through the Jackson State community.

“I got the news this afternoon, I was headed over to Jackson State to do the basketball game and it just knocked me off my feet, because I just talked to Willie yesterday about the Super Bowl,” Rob Jay, a local sports broadcaster, said.

Richardson, a proud and well decorated JSU Tiger went on to play nine NFL seasons.

He made a trip to Super Bowl 3 with the Baltimore Colts.

“He was an ambassador for the state of Mississippi; he always talked good about being home and what Mississippi was,” Richard Myers, a Public Address Announcer for JSU, said.

“You would see him all the time, he would talk to you, always a kind word, he had for you and he didn’t mind talking to you,” Edward Clarke, a JSU alumni and season ticket holder, said.

Close friends of Richardson say he was a god-fearing family man enthused about all things Jackson State.

“We always joked about how much I didn’t know about football and how much he knew about football–I’m going to miss him, he was my best friend,” Jay said.

Richardson and well-known sportscaster Rob Jay worked closely together covering Jackson State football games and now Rob says we’ve lost something special.

“He knew about all of the schools, not just Jackson State. He knew about all of the schools in the state. He knew all of the coaches; he knew all of the former players. He was a wealth of knowledge and you just don’t get that every day and he was a great broadcaster,” Jay said