How D.J. Reed's homecoming reconnected him with former high school alum


How D.J. Reed's homecoming reconnected him with former high school alum

High School homecomings usually happen in the fall when the leaves are turning orange and football season is in full swing. For D.J. Reed, 22, a special one came in April.

Reed, a second-year 49ers defensive back had a touching homecoming and reunion with fellow Independence High alum Tyler Schilhabel.

“It was great to be able to see each other after that long gap,” Schilhabel said. “Having him speak to the entire student body was awesome. I definitely want to have him back to talk to the football team one-on-one.”  

Schilhabel spoke very highly of Reed’s message which is something that he has tried to exemplify and share with his team as well. 

“He told them to not let other people determine their worth,” Schilhabel said. “You have to determine your own worth and what you’re capable of doing. Don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals.”  

This is not the first time that either of the two Bakersfield products have operated outside the norm. In 2010 during his junior year, Schilhabel was the quarterback of the football team. He was involved in an ATV accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. 

Through his recovery the high school quarterback became acquainted with then Stanford football coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh, soon after their meeting, became head coach of the 49ers and Schilhabel found himself on the sidelines during a game. 

Flash forward to 2018 when after graduating from Utah, Schilhabel was named head coach of the Independence High football team where Reed also excelled. 

Reed’s path to the NFL has also been unconventional. After he red-shirted his first season at Fresno State, he chose to transfer to Cerritos College to go the junior college route. He played well enough to get the chance to show what he could do at Kansas State, where he finished his college career. 

The 49ers selected Reed in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. He finished his first season playing in 15 games primarily as a kick returner, but was also on the field with the defense towards the end of the year. 

Reed returned 11 kickoffs for 332 yards giving him an average of 30.2 yards per return. On defense he tallied one quarterback sack, one forced fumble and 41 total tackles, 30 of which were solo. 

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Schihabel explained that Reed’s mentality will serve him well in his career. He described his positive attitude and constant smile. He also is very aware of Reed being his toughest critic, which the defensive back explained to NBC Sports Bay Area after a difficult practice late in 2018.  

“He’s a very self-motivated person,” Schilhabel said. “For where he’s at now, it’s pretty evident. That’s the best thing about him. He’s never been satisfied with what he’s done. I think that’s something that he’s carried with him for a long time.” 

NFL rumors: Nick Bosa first on Cardinals' draft board, ex-player says

NFL rumors: Nick Bosa first on Cardinals' draft board, ex-player says

Nick Bosa or Kyler Murray. Kyler Murray or Nick Bosa.

That appears to be the debate going on in Arizona, as the Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NFL draft.

Murray long has been rumored to be the Cardinals' choice at No. 1, but the team reportedly has cooled as of late on taking the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.

That sentiment continued Monday when former NFL player Antonio Bryant claimed he has heard Bosa is No. 1 on the Cardinals' draft board.

The Cardinals, of course, used their 2018 first-round pick to select a QB in Josh Rosen. With all of the speculation surrounding the Cardinals and Murray, Rosen has found himself at the center of trade talks -- with the Giants and Dolphins reportedly showing the most interest.

But according to Bryant, Rosen would be staying in Arizona, as the Cardinals decide to shore up their defensive line by instead adding Bosa.

Meanwhile, the 49ers own the No. 2 pick in the draft and have been heavily linked to Bosa with that pick. If Bosa is off the board, as Bryant suggests, the ripple effects will be felt all over the league -- especially in San Francisco.

The 49ers appear set at QB with Jimmy Garoppolo, but they could use plenty of help on the defensive line. Alabama's Quinnen Williams and Kentucky's Josh Allen could be viable options for the Red and Gold at No. 2 if the Cardinals select Bosa.

San Francisco also could trade the No. 2 pick and receive two later first-round picks in return. If the Cardinals indeed pass on Murray, it would not be surprising if the 49ers' phone lines were flooded with potential trade offers for the dynamic Oklahoma QB.

49ers GM John Lynch indicated as much Monday afternoon when asked if he expected calls to trade up for Murray.

“I would, wouldn’t you?” Lynch said Monday at his draft preview media availability. “There seems to be a ton of interest, and I understand, man. We, a couple times, just threw him up in here [the draft room] and it’s electric stuff, it really is."

[RELATED: Lynch discusses Bosa's social media activity]

With so many rumors swirling around, it's hard to keep track of what is real and what might be a smokescreen.

Is it Thursday night yet?

49ers GM John Lynch makes assurance Robbie Gould will return as kicker


49ers GM John Lynch makes assurance Robbie Gould will return as kicker

SANTA CLARA – As expected, 49ers general manager John Lynch was short on making promises and speaking in absolutes during his pre-draft session Monday with reporters inside the team’s draft room.

But Lynch made one clear projection about the 2019 season: Robbie Gould will be the 49ers’ kicker.

“Robbie is going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that,” Lynch said of the 49ers’ unsigned franchise player. “We would like it to be longer than that. We’ve made an attempt to make it happen. We haven’t come to an agreement as of yet, and we’ll see where that goes.

“But Robbie will be a part of us this coming year, and we’re excited for that because he’s very good at what he does and he’s also a big part of this team.”

The 49ers signed Gould to a two-year, $4 million contract on the first day of free agency in 2017. As the team’s franchise player this season, he has a one-year contract for $4.9 million waiting for him. He has yet to sign the one-year tender, and Lynch said the 49ers would still like to work out a multi-year deal with him.

Gould is not taking part in the team’s offseason program. He is working on his own in the Chicago area. All indications are Gould did not want the 49ers to lock him up as the franchise player. He previously said he was looking forward to considering all options as an unrestricted free agent.

Gould, 36, ranks second all-time in NFL history with a field-goal accuracy of 87.745 percent.

The 49ers showed interest then-free agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski, NBC Sports Bay Area reported on April 9. Just hours later – and shortly before Gostkowski was scheduled to make a trip to visit the 49ers – the New England Patriots re-signed him to a contract. Gostkowski ranks No. 3 in all-time field-goal accuracy.

“We’ve got to do our due diligence in terms of being prepared for all scenarios, and Stephen was a free agent, and (he is) also very good,” Lynch said. “Our No. 1 priority in that respect was to try to figure out something with Robbie. Stephen was there. I think our interest quickly got the Patriots to lock him down.”

[RELATED: How trading No. 2 could get 49ers two first-round picks]

Lynch said he is not sure when Gould will sign and report to the team. Training camp opens in late-July, and the 49ers’ regular-season opener is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I can’t speak to when he’s going to be here,” Lynch said. “But when we kick it off, he’ll be here.”