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Jerry Rice will take A.J. Jenkins to “the hill”


The wide receiver taken by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the NFL draft is going to get whipped into shape by the former 49ers receiver who is regarded by many as the greatest player in NFL history.

A.J. Jenkins, the former Illinois receiver who was selected by the 49ers in this year’s NFL draft, has been trading messages on Twitter with Jerry Rice, the Hall of Famer who was the 49ers’ first-round draft pick in 1985 and was ranked No. 1 in NFL Network’s list of the 100 greatest players ever. Rice confirmed today on ESPN’s NFL Live that he plans to take Jenkins to “the hill,” the 2.5-mile uphill path he regularly ran during his NFL career. Rice said that if Jenkins can master the hill, he’ll be at his best in the fourth quarter when everyone else is spent.

“In the fourth quarter you’ve still got to be able to make plays, make that incredible catch to win that football game, so I want to introduce him to that hill,” Rice said of Jenkins. “Hopefully we can build a relationship where we can start working together.”

The 49ers will never have another Jerry Rice, but if Jenkins takes his offseason conditioning as seriously as Jerry Rice, he’ll have a very successful career in San Francisco.