49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 21, 2012
Silatolu in the mix for 49ers at No. 30


I spent about an hour in Tracy today with Amini Silatolu, the guard from Midwestern State, for a story I'm working on for next week. Silatolu's made 11 official visits with teams, and he met with 49ers offensive line coaches Mike Solari and Tim Drevno earlier this week in Tracy.

The 49ers, who have the 30th pick in the first round, have brought in several players most observers see being taken at the end of the first round or beginning of the second. That includes receivers Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech, Rueben Randle of LSU, Kendall Wright of Baylor, running back David Wilson of Virginia Tech and Stanford tight end Coby Fleener. (Fleener did not take an "official visit" but was on hand for the 49ers' local pro day this week.)

Silatolu stands out from that group in that he projects to the only starting position, right guard, currently open for the 49ers. The list above are players we know have visited. Every team is allowed 30 visits, and the 49ers have used that allotment. The team met with others, including a linebacker and another offensive linemen I saw recently but did not recognize.

I'll have more next week on Silatolu, whose roundabout path to the NFL included two years at Division II Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas. NFL teams like both his mean streak and his ability to get down field and hit moving targets. Most of the teams he visited love to pull their guards.

One thing struck me is what a small world the NFL is. Silatolu played against Miles Burris' and Devon Wylie's Granite Bay squad in high school, and he has been training alongside those players in Southern California. Silatolu, who went to West High in Tracy, also regularly played Boise State running back Doug Martin, who played at Stockton's St. Mary's High and who you have to believe also is on the 49ers' radar at pick No. 30.

"Every year we played St. Mary's we whupped them," Silatolu said. "I know Doug Martin hated playing us." Silatolu has visited Carolina, Detroit, Dallas, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Kansas City and Baltimore.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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