Hundreds of people gathered inside the Andrews High School gym on Friday afternoon to say goodbye to Jeremy Geathers.
The 30-year-old AHS graduate was struck and killed by a limousine in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.
Geathers' casket was surrounded by floral arrangements, including a football, a 2004 for the year he graduated, and a number nine for the football jersey he wore.
Roderick Dorsey said his cousin had a "big heart." If anybody needed anything, Geathers would be there to help.
Dorsey joked that sometimes he believed that his mother thought more of Geathers than she did of him.
Dorsey drew cheers from the crowd when he ended his eulogy by saying "Number nine take your rest. We loved you, but God loves you best."
Retired S.C. State football Coach Willie Jeffries said Geathers did more in his 30 years on Earth than most people do in a lifetime.
"We know (Geathers) is looking down on us today," Jeffries said.
Although five members of the Geathers family have played in the NFL, Jeffries said the family's legacy is kindness not athletics.
Geathers and his family proved that "success has no ZIP Code," Jeffries said, adding that it doesn't matter how small of a town you come from.
State Sen. Ronnie Sabb agreed.
"There are no boundaries to where (you) can go and what heights (you) can attain," said Sabb, who has been friends with Geathers' father, James, since college.
Sabb said Geathers' success should be an example for today's young people.
Rob Keefe, who coached Geathers with the Spokane Shock and Orlando Predators, said Geathers was more than a great football player, he was also a great person.
Keefe recalled when an Orlando newspaper photographer came to take a picture of Geathers for a profile story. Keefe said the photographer wanted a serious photo of Geathers, but it took awhile because Geathers couldn't stop laughing.
A framed copy of that photo was on display near Geathers' casket and was used as the cover of the funeral program.
After the service, Geathers was laid to rest in Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.
Geathers was born June 19, 1986 in New Orleans. After graduating from Andrews High, he earned an associate's degree in art from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas.
After transferring to the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, where he played football for two years, Geathers signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints.
His football career also included stints with the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. He was a member of the Spokane Shock that won Arena Bowl XXIII in 2010. Geathers was named the Defensive Player of the Game.
In addition to his father, Geathers is survived by his siblings, Jasmine, Jamiela, Jarvis and J’mia, and his grandmother, Martha.
Geathers was preceded in death by his mother, Debi, who was killed in a 2001 car crash. Geathers and his brother, Jarvis, survived that accident.