49ers

New 49ers receiver Jordan Matthews reveals why he's been lifelong fan of team

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New 49ers receiver Jordan Matthews reveals why he's been lifelong fan of team

The 49ers added a longtime fan to the roster on Thursday when they signed receiver Jordan Matthews.

The reason behind Matthews' 49ers fandom is pretty simple. Jerry Rice, the GOAT, is his cousin. 

Matthews doesn’t remember his first visit California to see Rice play as a 49er, though. His first memory is attending a game when Rice played for the other Bay Area team. 

Matthews remained loyal, and was adamant about wearing a 49ers hat while his brother donned Silver and Black at that Raiders-Broncos game. 

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Matthews hasn’t spoken to his Hall of Fame cousin since signing with his former team but is sure that it will happen sometime soon. He’s been too busy making transcontinental flights and meeting his new teammates and coaches. He revealed he hadn’t even spoken to his wife yet. 

Matthews’ mother, Brenda, is cousins with Rice and ran track with him at B.L. Moor High School in Oktoc, Mississippi. The Matthews family resided in nearby Crawford. He describes it as 30 miles in the backwoods from Starkville, the home of Mississippi State. 

Matthews, who went to Vanderbilt, did detail the advice that Rice imparted on him during the pre-draft process in 2014. 

“The most we talked as far as advice wise was coming out for the draft,” Matthews said. “I got in touch and said, ‘Hey what’s the best advice you can give me going into the draft, the Combine, the Senior Bowl?’

“He said ‘Just everywhere you go, just tell yourself you’re the best person there. That you’re supposed to be there.’ And that’s what I did. I’ve done that. I can use that advice in Year Five. That’s why he’s obviously the GOAT.” 

Matthews will no doubt be in contact with his cousin upon his return for the offseason program. And if he was invited to run the famous hill to train, would he be worried? 

“I’m not worried about that,” Matthews said. “I would be excited about that.”

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

Nick Bosa might have been the best player in last year’s draft, but the top spot went to a quarterback to fill a need for the team with the No. 1 overall pick.

Things could very well go the same way this year, with the Cincinnati Bengals taking quarterback Joe Burrow with the first selection.

That would leave the consensus top player, Chase Young, for Washington at No. 2.

Again, that player is a defensive end. Again, that player is a defensive end from Ohio State.

“Nick, he's always setting the standard,” Young said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “That's just motivation for me to achieve a lot of real good things.

“It's definitely been a blessing to watch him grow into the player that he is. He's definitely helped me along this passage. He hasn't stopped. I'm just grateful to be able to see him grow.”

The 49ers selected Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick last year after the Arizona Cardinals went with quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1.

Bosa registered nine sacks during the regular season and four more in the postseason. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He and Young also have been in contact as Young goes through the same process Bosa experienced a year ago.

“He just told me to be myself,” Young said. “That's what I have been trying to do the whole time I've been here.”

Young, like Bosa, declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He enters the draft after compiling a more impressive college career than Bosa, who was hampered by injuries throughout his time at Ohio State.

In 34 college games, Young registered 30.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss. Last season, he had 16.5 sacks, all of which came in the first nine games of the season. In 29 games at Ohio State, Bosa had 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.

[RELATEDBosa intuitively drawn to sport that shaped his life, NFL draft future]

Bosa’s brother, Joey, went to Ohio State, where he was coached by defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Nick Bosa did not have much of a decision where to attend college because the family was already sold on Johnson’s ability to groom defensive linemen.

“I think the technique that ‘Coach J’ teaches in college works in the NFL as well,” Young said. “I'll continue to perfect my technique. The toolbox that I have now, I know that it'll bring me success in the NFL. That's one thing that I took from Nick and Joey.”

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

The 49ers saw firsthand how a blazing-fast receiver like Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs can change a game when Hill's deep catch on third-and-15 swung the momentum in Super Bowl LIV. Henry Ruggs, believe it or not, might be even faster. 

As San Francisco looks to upgrade its receivers for coach Kyle Shanahan's motion-heavy offense, a speedster like Ruggs could be a game-changer. The Alabama receiver said Thursday that he has met with the 49ers at the NFL Scouting Combine. 

Ruggs put on an absolute show Thursday at the combine. After measuring in at 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, Ruggs ran a ridiculous 4.27 40-yard dash. That is the fastest among receivers this year, and the best time thus far at the combine. His time also is tied with current 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin, who could be on his way out of San Francisco, as the fourth-fastest at the combine since 2006.

That was just the start of Ruggs' big day, too. He also recorded a 42-inch vertical leap and had a 10'11" broad jump. His athleticism simply is off the charts. 

Ruggs joins a growing list of receivers the 49ers have met with at the combine. But it seems highly unlikely he will be available for the NFC champions. The 49ers own the No. 31 pick in the draft this year, and a handful of teams ahead of them make sense as a landing spot for Ruggs. 

[RELATED: Baylor receiver Mims believes his skills match with 49ers]

Before the combine, Ruggs was selected No. 18 overall by the Miami Dolphins in our latest mock draft. It would be a big surprise to see him fall past the New Orleans Saints at No. 24 overall.

It's clear the 49ers are doing their due diligence on a loaded receiver class and could be eyeing a future star at the end of the first round. Adding Ruggs would be gold to Shanahan's offense.