SANTA CLARA –
I just interviewed Jeremiah Masoli in a group at 49ers headquarters. The transcript is below, but first, here are my impressions of the rookie.
Like Delanie Walker, he was a pleasure to interview. He made eye contact whenever a reporter asked a question, and he responded thoughtfully. I’m not saying his pleasant manner indicates he’ll be a good football player, I just found it surprising, considering his clouded history.
He’s short, but he’s the widest, stockiest player I’ve interviewed the last two days. The 49ers do not list him as a quarterback, they list him as a running back, and for what it’s worth, he looks like one.
Here’s the full Q & A. Hope you like it.
MASOLI: I’ve had some interest from other teams throughout this whole process. I’m just trying to get on a team after this lockout. Possible position changes – I’m not really worried about it. The main thing for me is just to contribute and try to help bring this team back to the glory days.
Q: Are you anxious to show some versatility?
MASOLI: Yeah, definitely I’m anxious to show my versatility, but at the same time, but at the same time who knows for sure. Tomorrow we’ll see what happens.
Q: How many teams expressed interest in you other than the niners?
MASOLI: About four.
Q: Why did you sign with the 49ers?
MASOLI: No. 1 Coach Harbaugh. I really like Coach Harbaugh, I think we have a great relationship. We have some history in the Pac-10. I just thought it was a great fit for me.
Q: Did you have much interaction with him in your college days?
MASOLI: Just on game day – talking to him after the game and whatnot. That’s about it.
Q: What do you like about him?
MASOLI: His passion for the game, and his commitment and everything that goes along with that. He seems like a great guy to be around.
Q: You were a very mobile quarterback in college. How much will that mobility help you in your transition to running back?
MASOLI: That’s it right there. You hit it on the nose with the mobility, the agility that a running back needs to have, or any position besides quarterback.
Q: Did Ole Miss end up being a good fit for you?
MASOLI: Definitely, I loved it down there, loved the coaching staff, got along great with the guys. The offense over there, we ran kind of a semi-pro style, semi-spread. It was great, I learned a lot.
Q: You’ve been in the news a lot on a national scope not always for the right reasons. How do you go about repairing your image and moving on with your career?
MASOLI: This is a clean slate for me right now. I’m not in college anymore. This is a new year and I’m looking forward to moving on. I’m just focusing on the future.
Q: Was that something that you had to address a lot with NFL teams during this process?
MASOLI: Not so much, not as much as you would think.
Q: How confident are you that you’re going to make this team?
MASOLI: I’m confident, every guy over here is confident. You ask all these rookies here if they’re confident, if they’re going to make the team and they’ll say ‘yes.’ But it’s all up to what we do out there on the field.
Q: When you were out there for the local pro day was there anything that happened that made you think you might have a future here?
MASOLI: After workouts were over, Coach Harbaugh wanted me to come catch some punts and do some running back drills. I think that was just a little hint myself that maybe it might be San Francisco.
Q: You’re a San Francisco native. Was it a childhood dream to play for the 49ers?
MASOLI: It was and it wasn’t. There’s definitely the glamour of my childhood dream, but it also had a lot to do with Coach Harbaugh and the coaching staff.
Q: Were the 49ers your favorite team growing up?
MASOLI: Oh yeah.
Q: So what era are we talking?
MASOLI: Steve Young, Jeff Garcia.
Q: Have you ever been a pure running back?
MASOLI: No, never. I’ve been a quarterback my whole life.
Follow me on twitter @grantcohn.