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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Why Ji’Ayir Brown’s uncle was excited to see the 49ers draft the safety

May 10, 2023 at 11:21 AM--

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Ji'Ayir Brown is going to help one family member achieve his lifelong dream. His uncle, Brian, is a lifelong San Francisco 49ers fan and was beyond elated when the team drafted his nephew, a safety out of Penn State.

Brown's uncle plans to head to Santa Clara and visit the team's facility with his nephew.

"My uncle, who's been supporting me my entire life, he is one of the biggest 49ers fans you will ever meet in life," Brown said Wednesday morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "He's been a 49ers fan since he was a baby. He was the one who was shouting and screaming [when I was drafted], and he was super excited.

"[He] shed a tear when I got drafted to the 49ers because this is his favorite team, and it couldn't have went a better way for him. So it made everyone—made me, especially—proud just to see that smile on his face."

The 49ers made Brown a third-round pick, No. 87 overall. He was the first of nine players drafted by San Francisco. Brown and his fellow rookie teammates will head to Santa Clara on Thursday to prepare for the two-day rookie minicamp, which kicks off the next day.

Brown grew up in Trenton, a small 7.2 square mile city in New Jersey. The safety describes his hometown as "not the best place for a child to grow up." However, while there are concerning violence issues in the town, Trenton is where Brown fell in love with football, paving his path to the NFL.

"The guy you see today on film all comes from this city, growing up in this environment, just being able to capitalize on every opportunity that came our way," Brown shared.

The rookie will transition to California, a drastic change from what he is used to.

"So coming out of this city and seeing things like coming down to the 49ers facility, being appreciative of just being there because of where I come from," Brown said. "I don't get to see the nice trees and the sunny days that San Jose gets to see."

Brown is ready to embark on his NFL journey and isn't taking anything for granted. He'll learn from Talanoa Hufanga and Tashaun Gipson, the two safeties expected to start in 2023. Brown joins one of the most talent-rich defensive units in the league.

"All the guys I've been around so far are just so desperate to win and ready to dial in and give it all they got for this year," Brown said. "... I feel like I do a lot of things good, and I do some things great. So I think the deep ball is what I do great. Run defending is what I do great. And pass rushing is what I do good."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Brown below.


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