George Kittle is the best tight end in football, and likely soon will be the highest-paid one in the NFL as well.
But the 49ers star's ascent from unspectacular college tight end to NFL All-Pro wasn't one you could have seen coming when Kittle was coming out of high school. Starring at Norman High School in Oklahoma, Kittle was just 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds as a high school senior. His lean frame didn't entice many college recruiters. When he did go on his lone official visit to Weber State, Kittle tried to make it look like he had put on the weight recruiters wanted to see.
"That was my only visit," Kittle told Bleacher Report's Ryan Jones. "I wore a sweatshirt with a coat on top so I looked 220 when I was really about 195. But I had a blast."
Kittle admits he considered going to Weber State as the recruiting process drew toward the end, but he wanted to play at one of his three dream schools: Iowa, Wisconsin, or Oklahoma.
In order to try and get the under-recruited Kittle some more attention, Norman High School coach Greg Nation went to work for Kittle, using a ton of game film and data to try and interest Division I programs. Nation used to have his players go through NFL Scouting Combine drills, and that's where Kittle was really able to show off his athleticism.
"We used to do a combine in practice—we did a 40, a pro shuttle, an L drill," Nation told Bleacher Report. "And the thing that got me about George, going into his senior year, his L drill would've been the third-best in the NFL combine that year for his position."
Kittle always has been a good athlete. When he arrived at Iowa, the Hawkeyes coaching staff was unsure what position he would play.
Kittle eventually settled in at tight end and had a solid collegiate career. Kittle wasn't expected to blossom into the NFL star he's become with the 49ers, but he has quickly become a force that terrorizes defense both in the passing game and as a run blocker.
No longer 6-foot-3, 190, Kittle's workouts have become the stuff of social media legend. He's shown off his ridiculous vertical jump and agility during the offseason as the 49ers prepare to begin their march back to the Super Bowl.
Kittle doesn't have to layer up to impress anyone anymore.
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