Trey Lance will enter training camp as the clear backup to Jimmy Garoppolo, but he has heard 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan say the rookie has a chance to win the starting job.
As unlikely as that proposition seems, Lance has been taking a no-days-off mentality since Shanahan ended the 49ers' offseason program early.
Videos hit social media of Lance working out with veteran receiver Mohamed Sanu, and on Thursday quarterback development coach Sean McEvoy posted more footage of Lance grinding on the practice field.
Lance impressed just about everyone during rookie minicamp and OTAs, as his athleticism, intelligence and willingness to be coached has the entire organization fired up for the future.
Star tight end George Kittle praised Lance's approach on the practice field and let-it-rip mentality.
"I think Trey, he has all the attributes to be a very special quarterback," Kittle said on "Good Morning Football" on NFL Network on Tuesday. "He's a freak athlete. I think really one of my favorite things about him right now as a rookie is that he takes risks. Like he doesn't complete all the passes that he throws, but he's trying to fit it into those small windows and he's just trying to throw it as hard as he can and get it to that wide receiver going through that second window and I think that is really fun just to see a guy take risks, especially when he just turned 21 years old and now he can buy me some Bud Light finally.
"But it is what it is. I'm just excited to see his progress throughout training camp, and he is an eager guy that wants to learn, and I know that when you are in a room with coach [Kyle] Shanahan, the mastermind, he's going to learn a lot, so I think he is in the right spot."
Garoppolo likely will exit training camp as the starter, giving the 2021 49ers the best shot to return to Super Bowl contention.
But Lance already has shown why Shanahan coveted him atop the 2021 NFL Draft, and why the 49ers believe he is the right man to lead them in the future.