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May 7, 2012
49ers rookie minicamp: Who's playing QB?


The 49ers will have running backs, fullbacks, wide receivers and tight ends at their minicamp this weekend. What they don't have, for now at least, is someone to throw them the ball.

The three-day camp is for rookies only. So even though the 49ers have four quarterbacks on the roster, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson and Scott Tolzien can't attend. The team did not take a passer in last month's draft nor did they sign one as an undrafted free agent.

Coach Jim Harbaugh, of course, has been known to throw a pass or two (or seventy five) during practice, and trainer Nate Breske also is a former quarterback. The team also could sign a rookie passer to fill in this weekend like it did in 2009 when former Miami quarterback Kirby Freeman was signed to help run practice. Freeman was added April 30 that year and waived May 12.

Or the team could bring in more rookies, including quarterbacks, on a tryout basis, which several other teams did this past weekend. In fact, some of them, including the Buccaneers and Jaguars, ended up signing some of the tryout players and cutting some of the undrafted free agents they had signed just days earlier. Welcome to the NFL, rook.

Here's the rookie minicamp roster by position as it stands now:

QB: ?
RB: LaMichael James (Oregon), Jewel Hampton (Southern Illinois),
FB: Cameron Bell (Northern Illinois)
WR: A.J. Jenkins (Illinois), Chris Owusu (Stanford), Nathan Palmer (Northern Illinois), Brian Tyms (Florida A&M)
TE: Garrett Celek (Michigan State)
OL: Joe Looney (Wake Forest), Jason Slowey (Western Oregon), Kevin Murphy (Harvard), Al Netter (Northwestern), David Gonzalez (Washington State)
K: Giorgio Tavecchio (Cal)

DL: Matt Masifilo (Stanford), Tony Jerod-Eddie (Texas A&M), Kourtnei Brown* (Clemson), Patrick Butrym (Wisconsin)
OLB: Darius Fleming (Notre Dame), Cam Johnson (Virginia)
ILB: Joe Holland (Purdue)
CB: Deante' Purvis (UNLV), Anthony Mosley (Kentucky)
S: Trenton Robinson (Michigan State), Michael Thomas (Stanford)

As is the case every year, some of the players who attend the weekend minicamp won't be able to rejoin teammates for the offseason program until their school's graduation. Players who will be in that situation include James (Oregon), Netter (Northwestern), Butrym (Wisconsin) and the three Stanford players. James, the team's second-round pick, will be able to rejoin the 49ers after June 15.

* Brown played defensive end at Clemson but could move to outside linebacker with the 49ers.

-- 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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