- In his youth, developed his work ethic and good hands by tossing and catching bricks on a scaffold while assisting his father, a mason.
- Was one of the few Super Bowl MVPs to be passed over for Disney's "I'm going to Disney World" TV spot, following Super Bowl XXIII. Joe Montana was selected instead.
- Honored by his university with the renaming of its football stadium to Rice-Totten Stadium (after Jerry and QB Willie Totten) in 1997.
- In 2006, with professional partner Anna Trebunskaya, finished second on Season 2 of Dancing With the Stars to singer Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke.
- Is coauthor of two books about his life: Rice (1996), with Michael Silver; and Go Long! My Journey Beyond the Game and the Fame (2008), with Brian Curtis.
- Flirted with a career as a pro golfer by competing on the Nationwide Tour, the PGA's Triple-A circuit, but abandoned the effort in May 2010.
- In 2010, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, in his first year of eligibility.
- Heavily involved in the United Negro College Fund and his own 127 Foundation, which donates funds to the Bay Area Omega Boys Club.