THOMSON, Ga. (WJBF) – Extremely accomplished NFL Hall-of-Famer and Thomson, GA Native Ray Guy died early Thursday morning, and those who knew him say his talent and character will live on forever in the community.

At Thomson High School’s varsity football game against Westside High School on Thursday ngihts, there was a moment of silence and a heartfelt speech dedicated to late THS graduate Ray Guy.

Those who knew him said he’ll be remembered for more than what he did on the field.

“He was a humble person, he wasn’t a show off,” said Florence Story, a former classmate and friend of Guy’s. “Oh – well, I take that back. He was on the field, but that was when he had to be a show off.”

Ray was the first, and only, sophomore at Thomson selected to be on the varsity football team. He played almost every position, but was most known for his punting and placekicking skills.

Remembering Ray Guy:

“He kicked off and punted. And Ray made so many tackles on the kickoffs, they were afraid he’d get hurt,” said Paul Leroy, his former Thomson High School coach. “So, they got someone else to kickoff and just let him punt.”

After excelling at a variety of sports in high school, he went on to play football and baseball for the University of Southern Mississippi, before being the first punter ever to be drafted into the NFL in the first round by the Oakland Raiders in 1973.

“He was so well thought of by the Thomson people, and by the sports world,” Leroy said.

Among numerous Super Bowl wins and awards while playing in the NFL, Guy was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in February 2014 – becoming the first – and so far only – punter to ever be elected.

“Ray and I went to school together, and i’ve known Ray all through the years,” said Florence Story, his former classmate. “It’s been nice knowing Ray Guy.”

Ray will be remembered not just for his athletic abilities, but for who he was as a person.