Trey Sermon had an inkling he might be headed to the NFC West.
Unlike Trey Lance, who admitted to being surprised by the 49ers on draft night, the Ohio State running back had a feeling Santa Clara might be his new home.
After several virtual meetings with the 49ers, primarily with running backs coach Bobby Turner, Sermon wasn’t surprised when a Northern California area code appeared on his phone Friday evening. The 49ers traded with the Los Angeles Rams to acquire the No. 88 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft and selected Sermon.
“I talked with coach Turner a lot actually throughout my process,” Sermon said on Friday. “He is probably the coach I talked to the most. Over time, I was able to get familiar with him and build a great relationship and I learned a lot about him and he’s a great guy.”
Sermon was not at Ohio State’s second pro day when both Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch were in attendance, but that did not have an effect on the running back’s belief he would end up on the 49ers.
Turner and Sermon started talking shortly after the Senior Bowl and kept the lines of communication open while the prospect trained in Florida, through his pro day and after. The impression that Sermon got from those conversations was that he would be a great fit in Shanahan’s outside zone running scheme.
Sermon’s transition to the NFL will not only be eased from experience in Ohio State’s similar offensive style, but also because of what he already shares with several of the skill players on the roster.
The Ohio State running back is known for being a violent runner, which is a theme in the 49ers' locker room. Sermon will fit in naturally with George Kittle, who likes to “impose his will” on the opposition, Jeff Wilson, who goes to a “dark place” when on the field, and Deebo Samuel, who requires gang tackling to be stopped.
Sermon is looking forward to joining the fray and using his physical nature to dominate the competition.
“It is very exciting,” Sermon said. “Just being part of this organization, it’s a great team. I feel like this is a great fit for me and I’m going to be able to have a big impact.”