Before the 49ers shocked Aldon Smith by taking him with the No. 7 pick, they surprised him during his pre-draft visit to San Francisco.
Smith expected the Niners to test his football acumen. But not like this: How wide is a football field?
At his press conference in Santa Clara today, the former Missouri defensive end laughed when recalling the 50-question, do-you-know-your-football questionnaire.
He copped to missing a few questions on the pop quiz and was reminded of one in particular from a voice in the back of the room.
“Knute Rockne,” test administrator Jim Harbaugh said. “Who was Knute Rockne.”
Smith smiled at the 49ers coach.
“I forgot that one,” he said.
Not much news trickled out of Smith welcome meet-and-greet with the media, but the revelation of the questionnaire made it clear that Harbaugh is serious about wanting his players to have a passion for football. Right down to possessing knowledge of a Notre Dame coach who died 80 years ago.
By the way, a football field is 160 feet, or 53 1/3 yards, wide.
• Smith spoke with defensive end Justin Smith, a fellow Missouri star, on the practice field today. He also ran into safety Taylor Mays and linebacker Thaddeus Gibson in the weight room.
He said his visit hasn’t included any Xs-and-Os talk, but he hopes to leave with a playbook.
• Smith is racking up the frequent flyer miles. After flying in from New York today, he’ll travel back to New York tonight before heading to Missouri on Monday.
He was running on five hours of sleep today.
“It hasn’t all kicked in yet,” he said. “But I’m enjoying every bit of it.”
• Smith doesn’t know what number he’ll sport in the NFL. He wore 85 at Missouri because it was his number at Raytown Senior (Mo.) High, where he also played tight end.
• Just to clarify a point: Smith missed three games with a broken fibula last year, but actually had five weeks between games.
He suffered the injury Sept. 18 against San Diego State and returned to action on Oct. 23 against Oklahoma.