The San Francisco 49ers added another young dual-threat runner to their growing list of running backs on Saturday, as the team signed rookie running back and slot receiver Austin Walker after a positive rookie minicamp tryout. The signing was first reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:


Walter played four seasons as a running back, wide receiver and kick returner for Rice University, and earned All Conference USA Honorable Mention Honors in both 2017 and 2018.

Walter didn't receive an invitation to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, but he did attend the 2019 NFL Regional Combine Invitational in Kansas City, where he ran an impressive 4.49-second 40-yard dash.


Walter totalled 1,089 yards from scrimmage and six total scores in 2018, including over 500 yards both on the ground and through the air. The red-shirt senior also averaged 27.3 yards over 18 kick returns.

Walter's versatility was likely a factor in his signing, as each of the 49ers' top running backs -- Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman -- are dangerous receivers as well as runners. With the recent draft additions of wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, along with the free-agent signing of wideout Jordan Matthews, Walter will need to carve out a role in San Francisco's backfield and on special teams in order to make the 49ers' final 53-man roster.



Update: Walter announced the signing via Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

I've been playing this game since I was 3 years old and today I finally made my dreams come true. I reached the highest level of competition that this game has to offer. A lot of people said I was too short or that I could never play in the NFL and today showed that all of those people were wrong. I couldn't have accomplished this without my coaches and teammates throughout the years, my family, my agent, my trainers, North Houston, Crosby Tx and most importantly my Lord and Savior. I would like to thank the @49ers organization for giving me this opportunity that's not given to most people and I promise to make the most out of it... And Pops I kno you're smiling down from heaven and I wish you could've been here to see this but like you always used to say, "Now It's time to make somethin happen"!

A post shared by Austin Walter (@groovyyybabyyy) on

  • Chris Wilson
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    You may have seen Chris Wilson's work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis and film breakdowns at Locked On 49ers, FanSided, Niner Noise, Insidethe49, ClutchPoints and others. Follow Chris on Twitter @cgawilson.

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