Younger Jackson State fans won’t remember it, but there was a time when the Jackson State Tigers dominated the SWAC every bit as much as Deion Sanders’ Tigers are dominating now. Lewis Tillman, a hard-running halfback from Hazlehurst, was a huge part of that era, breaking many of Walter Payton’s JSU records. Last week, Tillman was front and center as the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2023. This week, undefeated Jackson State plays Southern University as ESPN’s GameDay comes to town. Seemed a perfect time for Lewis Tillman to join the podcast.

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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, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.

Tyler Cleveland

Tyler Cleveland is a senior reporter for Scorebook Live and the co-host of Mississippi Today's Crooked Letter Sports Podcast.