What message Jimmy G's welcome text to Lance included

Trey Lance

Jimmy Garoppolo can relate to Trey Lance.

Back in 2014, Garoppolo joined the New England Patriots as a touted second-round pick despite playing his college ball at Eastern Illinois, an FCS school in the Ohio Valley Conference. So when the 49ers used the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to select Lance, Jimmy G sent him a welcome text that noted they were both FCS products, according to NFL.com’s Adam Maya.

Lance told Maya that Garoppolo was one of his first new 49ers teammates to welcome him to the squad.

"That meant a lot to me and people in my corner," Lance said. "That shows a lot about the type of person he is, and the type of teammate. I was very thankful that he reached out to me and I'm super excited to get there and learn as much as I can from him."

Lance led North Dakota State to the 2019 FCS national championship but has played only one competitive game since then, so he’ll need plenty of guidance from his fellow quarterback. You have to think the two share some sort of underdog mentality coming from such small college programs.

Garoppolo has kept a mostly low profile this offseason while he has reportedly been on the trading block and there has been rampant speculation about his contract. But it appears Garoppolo has a soft spot for Lance since they entered the NFL in somewhat similar situations.

RELATED: Why Lance believes Shanahan, 49ers offense 'put into a box'

Back in 2014, Garoppolo shared the quarterback room with Tom Brady, who was 37 at the time about to enter his 15th NFL season. Now Garoppolo is the vet who has the starting gig and will be competing against Lance while helping him prepare to be the future face of the franchise.

While Brady never fell off and Garoppolo eventually landed in Santa Clara, Lance is poised to have a much quicker ascent to the starting role. It could be as early as Week 1, though 49ers CEO Jed York said he’s prepared for Lance to sit for two seasons if it’s what’s best for his career.

Kudos to Jimmy G for taking a leadership role in this situation, which could be ugly on other teams with other quarterbacks. And kudos to the 49ers, who appear to have been very transparent with Garoppolo throughout this entire process.

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