Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Raheem Mostert motivated by NFL journey, Hall of Fame hopes

Jun 28, 2020 at 7:02 PM--

If you open the Notes app on San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert's phone, you'll see a list of six NFL teams. They are the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears. Those are the six teams that gave up on him before he signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.

"Always there (on my phone)," Mostert recently told Jordan Schultz of ESPN. "It's never leaving until I can finally write it off."

What does it mean to finally write it off? Mostert paused for a second to think about that question from Schultz. His mind possibly thinking about those six teams and how being cut by each has motivated him during his NFL journey.

Mostert entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Purdue in 2015. It's a path that, for so many, leads to an early exit from the league.

That hasn't been the case for Mostert.

Everyone took notice of the running back last season, especially after his 29-carry, 220-yard, and four-touchdown performance against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

"It's funny because my mindset, even though I've missed so many years so far of getting stats in my books, my mindset is always going to be if I don't mean the Hall of Fame, then I'm going to be more agitated with myself that I didn't do enough," Mostert continued.

"And me missing out (on) so many years definitely is going to take an effect to that. But if I do make the Hall of Fame and all that type of stuff, and that's my attitude, then that's when I'll be able to finally write off that list and say, 'It was a nice journey, and this is what I went through.'"

Mostert will be the 49ers' featured back in 2020. He has bulked up this offseason in anticipation of a heavier workload on offense after spending his NFL career mostly regulated to a special-teams role.

"Right now, I'm just building myself up," Mostert told reporters in May. "I'm actually gaining some more muscle, which is kind of bizarre just because I haven't really been able to think about gaining muscle because I've already had muscle like that.

"Just trying to incorporate those things in my daily workouts, so that way, I'm able to take those hits and be one of those guys getting 200 carries. I've got to get prepared for that, and the only way that I know how is to get bulky and stronger."

Mostert's special teams coach with San Francisco, Richard Hightower, is proud of the running back. Hightower believes Mostert is setting an example for the team's younger players.

"We want those guys to play really well on special teams and get their opportunity," Hightower said during the team's State of the Franchise event. "Because if they get an opportunity on offense or defense, that means somebody noticed them, and then we're helping the team in more than one way. That's kind of what we preach. Our young guys know that.

"I know it's public now, Raheem being on six different teams, but we've been preaching that for a long time. We make sure every rookie knows that coming in, every young guy knows what Raheem had to do to get where he is. We've got so many examples of that."

Mostert rushed for 772 yards with eight rushing touchdowns on 137 carries last season. He showed off his versatility by scampering into the end zone twice more after hauling in passes.

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