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August 2, 2013
Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins to join 49ers receiving corps


Austin Collie ran routes and caught passes from Colin Kaepernick around noon on Friday. Less than three hours later, he had signed a contract with the 49ers, and he presumably will be on the field when the team begins practice at 5 p.m.

And he's not the only wide receiver joining the mix. The team also will sign former Cal receiver Lavelle Hawkins, 27, to a one-year deal, according to a league source. Hawkins, Collie and ex-Jaguar Laurent Robinson worked out in front of Jim Harbaugh, general manager Trent Baalke and host of assistant coaches and scouts this afternoon.

The 49ers cleared two spots on the 90-man roster by releasing center Sherman Carter, an undrafted rookie, and punter/kicker Colton Schmidt, who played at UC Davis.

Collie, 27, also worked out for coaches and scouts on June 13 when he took passes from rookie B.J. Daniels. He has recovered from a torn pattela tendon that cost him most of the 2012 season in Indianapolis, and he has passed all the neurological tests associated with concussions. Collie has suffered three of them since Nov. 7, 2010. One of the 49ers team doctors, Daniel Garza, is a specialist at Stanford Hospital in concussions and head injuries.

The 49ers began training camp with Michael Crabtree (Achilles') and Mario Manningham (ACL) on the physically unable to perform list. Since then, Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins, Kassim Osgood and Quinton Patton all have been injured. Patton (finger) continues to practice but cannot catch passes.

Collie played in only one game last year for the Colts before injuring his knee. In the previous three years, he had 172 catches for 1,839 yards and 16 touchdowns. Hawkins, who is from Stockton, was a fourth-round pick by the Titans in 2008. He has 71 catches for 771 yards and a touchdown in five seasons in Tennessee. He also returned seven kickoffs last year, including a 71 yarder. Hawkins signed a two-year deal with the Patriots in May, but they cut him earlier this week.

-- 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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