Reid All About It: 49ers Select LSU Safety
By Peter Fournier
Sorry Eric Reid. You are Jim Harbaugh’s guy now, and it's not a bad thing.
Reid, the 49ers' 2013 first-round draft pick, chose LSU over Stanford going into college despite Harbaugh heavily recruiting him to the Cardinal. The rookie safety said Harbaugh joked with him that the choice is no longer in the hands of the athlete this time around.
“It’s an honor,” Reid said. “We were joking about it earlier. He was saying I didn’t have a choice this time. I had to come.”
What perfect timing too. With the 49ers losing safety Dashon Goldson in free agency to Tampa Bay, San Francisco needs secondary help, and could have their next heavy hitter in Reid, with the former Tiger admitting he's willing to take baby steps before pouncing in the NFL.
“I just want to come in and get to work,” Reid said. “A starting role has to be earned, and I know that very much, so I don’t come in here and start right away. Like I said, I want to be a sponge. Just come in and impact the team in a positive way, and just do my job because this defense is incredible and it’ll be a honor to be on the field with those guys.”
Reid really wants to soak up whatever 49ers veteran safety Donte Whitner has to say.
“He’s the guy that going to show me how to be a professional athlete,” he said.
Defensive backs coach Ed Donatell picked up Reid from the airport Friday morning. Reid had been in New York for Day 1 of the NFL draft.
“I had my hat on already, so I was just looking forward to getting here,” Reid said.
Reid didn't know that the 49ers were building a new stadium until he was en route to Santa Clara.
“I saw it and I said, 'Man, that's nice,''” Reid said. “I'm glad I'll be here for the first year that it's open.”
There will be a family connection for Reid in the Silicon Valley, as his mother works as a traveling nurse in San Jose. Reid's mother spends two to three weeks at-a-time in Northern California before returning to Louisiana.
Reid agrees with critics' analysis that he can push too hard.
“I see a read and I might be overly aggressive, and then get out of position a little bit, but I think that comes with being a professional athlete,” he said. “I don’t have to go to class any more. I can focus on being a football player and spend all my time getting better at what I do.”
There's a chance Reid could be reunited with former LSU teammate Tyrann Mathieu, who hasn't been chosen in the draft yet and has visited the 49ers in the weeks leading to the draft. Reid recalls playing with him in college.
“It’s awesome,” Reid said. “I have a front-row seat to see some of the things that he does.”