David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

49ers scout credits this former draft pick for putting Deebo Samuel on team’s radar

Jul 25, 2020 at 12:19 PM--

Deebo Samuel's 57 receptions during his first NFL season are the second-most by a rookie in San Francisco 49ers franchise history. Only Earl Cooper had more with 83 in 1980.

Samuel's 802 receiving yards also ranks as the second-most by a rookie in franchise history, behind only Jerry Rice, who had 927 in 1985. His three games of 100-or-more receiving yards are the most by a rookie in a single season in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

National scout Chip Flanagan credits another former 49er draft pick for putting Samuel on the team's radar—Marcus Lattimore. The 49ers made the running back a fourth-round selection in 2013.

On November 5, 2014, Lattimore announced his retirement after trying to return from a knee injury and having never played a down of football with the 49ers.

"I have given every ounce of my energy toward making a full recovery from my knee injury, and I have made a lot of progress," Lattimore said via a statement announcing his retirement. "Unfortunately, getting my knee fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable."

Flanagan remembers scouting Lattimore at South Carolina.

"Marcus was a prolific running back," the scout recently told 49ers.com. "He set every record in the SEC as a running back."

Lattimore went on to join Will Muschamp's coaching staff at South Carolina as the director of player development. During that time, he got to work with Samuel, who he had known for years.

"Fast forward six years later to the 2019 draft," Flanagan continued, "and I was at the University of South Carolina practice field and saw Marcus over there. I went over and got a chance to visit with him. We talked probably for about 15 minutes, and 13 of those minutes were spent talking about Deebo Samuel.

"Deebo and Marcus are from the same area and have known each other since Deebo was, I want to say about 10 or 12 years old.

"You watch Deebo on college tape, and he was an unbelievable returner. He was unbelievable with the ball in his hands as a runner and after the catch as a receiver.

"Really, just being able to have Marcus' perspective, as a guy that's highly respected coming out of South Carolina, was really valuable to me."

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