New 49ers safety/slot cornerback Jimmie Ward made his debut in front of the local media today, and the personable 22-year-old came away with an A grade.
Ward, who is from Mobile, Ala., said that Round 1 of the draft also fell on his mom's birthday. Early in the day, he drove three hours west to New Orleans. He needed to find a mall that had an unusually extravagant gift he wanted to buy his mother, a Louis Vuitton purse. He drove back during the first half of the first round, then was home when Jim Harbaugh called to tell him he was the 49ers' selection at pick No. 30.
"She was proud, she was happy, then it was crazy when I got drafted," said Ward of his mother, whom he credited with steering him from trouble in the "tough neighborhood" he grew up in in Mobile. Needless to say, she also appreciated her birthday gift, which she opened in front of the whole family.
"I never, ever - I couldn't afford anything like that," Ward said. "First time for me ever buying anything for my mother over $100. So it felt great."
Ward admitted to being a class clown, and he recalled one of his grade school teachers once telling him that he would make his mother cry one day. "And she was right," he said. "But it was tears of joy."
FYI, guys, Mother's Day is Sunday.
-- Matt Barrows