SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers supported their local servicemen and women by hosting personnel from the Travis Air Force Base to watch practice and participate in NFL Combine drills.
After practice on Tuesday, tight end George Kittle offered his support by cheering on 50 military men and women as they went through several drills that Kittle himself went through prior to becoming a member of the 49ers.
Participants competed in drills including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, three-cone shuffle, and the receiving gauntlet.
The teams with the highest score won 49ers jerseys autographed by Kittle himself.
Several players stopped by to shake hands and take selfies with the service people in attendance, including offensive linemen Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey.
#49ers @jstaley74 @mmcglinch68 @gkittle46 all spent time greeting the 50 service men and women from Travis Air Force Base.— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) August 13, 2019
Best question overheard was to McGlinchey “You must eat a lot, huh?”
His reply: “Yes, but it’s not as crazy as you might think.” pic.twitter.com/78UsOqNPlx
Before opening up the training session, Kittle spoke to the group about his respect for the military.
“It’s because of what you do, that I’m allowed to do the thing that I love to do, play football.”
After practice #49ers TE @gkittle46 spoke to the 50 service men and women from #TravisAirForceBase who watched practice prior to their NFL Combine experience through @USAA @hubienation standing by ready to coach them up! pic.twitter.com/gB2rwqGPhS— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) August 13, 2019
[RELATED: Watch Kittle bench 350-plus pounds]
The players were organized and coached up by Rod Huber who travels the country with USAA connecting military with NFL teams. He recently retired after 27 years with College of Mount St. Joseph, 17 as head coach.
Huber himself has a military background, having driven tanks for the army for four years from 1979-1982. He believes the NFL and the military is a natural connection and being able to meet some of the players and coaches is an experience that they won’t easily forget.