A Richmond native is one of two NFL hopefuls who attracted massive attention on Monday for standing outside the 49ers practice facility with signs indicating they are looking for work.
Najee Lovett, who is from Richmond and was a standout player for St. Mary’s-Berkeley, Contra Costa College and the University of Idaho, found himself in the spotlight after Bay Area News Group reporter Cam Inman snapped a photo and penned a story about his enviable hustle.
In the photo, Lovett is standing alongside former Washington State defensive back Tracy Clark. They are both carrying signs asking for work, with Lovett’s sign reading: “Hungry for a Opportunity.”
According to Inman, Colin Kaepernick noticed and told Lovett, 23, a wide receiver, that he would “put in a word for us.”
Niners cornerback Jimmie Ward also approached the pair, according to the Bonner County Daily Bee.
Lovett is 5-foot-9 and most recently played in the training camp for the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders, where he suffered a torn Achilles tendon. He says he has bounced back healthier and more experienced than before the injury.
“At this point I figure, why not give it a shot?” Lovett told the Daily Bee. “I’m in better shape than I was when I left college. I honestly feel that these past two year have allowed me more time to perfect my craft.”
While the football experts don’t believe the 49ers will sign the pair, anything can happen.
According to a report in Medium, where a freelance writer penned a lengthy and solid feature on Lovett’s accomplishments, Joe Anderson similarly held a sign outside the Houston Texans’ facility last year, gained attention, then eventually signed with the New York Jets practice squad.