|No. 18, 83, 85|
|Born:||October 6, 1972|
San Diego, California
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||San Diego (CA) Point Loma|
|NFL Draft:||1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Jeral Jamal Stokes (born October 6, 1972) is a former American football wide receiver. Stokes played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins, and was recognized as a unanimous All-American. A first-round selection in the 1995 NFL Draft, drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, he played professionally for the San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots of the NFL.
Stokes was born in San Diego, California. He attended Point Loma High School in San Diego, where he was part of a talented high school football team that included quarterback Dan White and lineman La'Roi Glover. The team was coached throughout Stokes' four years by local legend Bennie Edens.
While attending University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Stokes played for the Bruins football team from 1991 to 1994. His breakout season came in his junior year when he was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. Stokes' junior season was rewarded with a top ten finish in the balloting for that year's Heisman Trophy, being the only junior recognized. Stokes' junior season ended with unanimous All-American recognition by The Sporting News, AP, UPI, and Kodak. Stokes' senior year began as the nation's leading Heisman contender but was quickly sidetracked by a severe upper thigh contusion suffered in the season's first game. Stokes still holds UCLA school records for receiving touchdowns in a season (17 in 1993), receiving touchdowns in a career (28), receiving yards in a game (263 vs. USC in 1992) and receptions in a game (14 vs. Wisconsin, 1994 Rose Bowl), among others.
On October 9, 2009, Stokes was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Stokes was selected with the first round (tenth overall pick) of the 1995 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, and he played for the 49ers from 1995 to 2002. The 49ers traded up 20 spots to the No. 10 pick in the first round of the draft to select Stokes. After a slow start to his rookie season, the former Bruin ultimately netted 38 receptions for 517 yards and four touchdowns, the last of which was tossed by Jerry Rice.
During the 1996 season, Stokes suffered a broken hand and missed most of the season, leading to the emergence of the 49ers' third round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, wide receiver Terrell Owens.
In 1997, with Rice sidelined with a torn ACL, Stokes and Owens formed a formidable duo for quarterback Steve Young, with Stokes hauling in 58 passes for 733 yards and four touchdowns. Once Rice returned, Stokes' production did not falter as he would achieve career highs in receptions (63), yards (770) and touchdowns (eight). Stokes was also the recipient of Denver linebacker Bill Romanowski spitting in his face during a Monday Night Football game in December 1997.
Along with the rest of the team, Stokes' production dropped in 1999 as a result of Young's career-ending concussion in a Monday night game in Arizona. Football Outsiders called Stokes "the league's least valuable receiver" in 1999.
The 49ers released him in 2003 and he was initially signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars before going to New England. Stokes was rarely used in the Patriots offense, only contributing 15 catches for 154 yards during the 2003 campaign. New England released him and activated fullback Larry Centers near the end of the season. However, he was re-signed by the Patriots prior to the AFC Championship Game.
He worked as a radio host for the ESPN radio affiliate based out of Modesto, California. Currently, he works as an analyst for Fox Sports on UCLA's football games and for high school football on the internet in Southern California.