The NFL lockout ended on Monday, and since then huge numbers of undrafted free agents have agreed to contracts with teams. On Tuesday, former San Francisco City College, University of Oregon, and Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli signed with the San Francisco 49ers – to play running back.
Masoli was dismissed from the Ducks in the 2010 offseason after numerous run-ins with the law and subsequent lies to Head Coach Chip Kelly. He was expected to be a Heisman candidate, but his dismissal led most to count out the Oregon Ducks. They, of course, ended up just fine with Darron Thomas at the helm.
Masoli was granted his release from the University of Oregon and later joined Ole Miss, where he had varied success over the course of the 2010 season.
With numerous quarterbacks already crowding the San Francisco depth chart, the move to running for Masoli should have been expected, especially after watching him take snaps for Ole Miss. Masoli’s Pro Day workout in Santa Clara this year was capped off by new 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh asking Masoli to take a few punt returns and try some running back drills.
Harbaugh, of course, coached against Masoli when he played for the University of Oregon.
The move to running back, though, shouldn’t be seen as the end-all for Masoli, who claims that even he doesn’t know what position he’ll officially be listed at when the season gets underway.
“I’m anxious to show my versatility,” Masoli said.
Growing up in San Francisco and winning a national championship for San Francisco City College was a major factor for his decision to sign with the 49ers, but it was the top reason.
“Number one was Coach Harbaugh,’’ Masoli said. “I really like Coach Harbaugh. I feel like we have a great relationship.”
Former teammate and Oregon graduate Kenny Rowe also signed with the 49ers this week.
Other Oregon players who signed this week:
- Jeff Maehl, WR – Houston Texans
- D.J. Davis, WR – Atlanta Falcons
- Brandon Bair, DT – KC Chiefs
- Kenny Rowe, DE – SF 49ers
- Spencer Paysinger, OLB – NY Giants
- Talmadge Jackson III, CB – Baltimore Ravens
Check out the Ducks Ready to Emerge in 2011 series here!
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© 2011 Max Price – All Rights Reserved.
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