Lessons from Camp Alex rubbed off on S.J. State star

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Lessons from Camp Alex rubbed off on S.J. State star

INDIANAPOLIS -- Duke Ihenacho generally kept to himself during the summer months, but he made sure to constantly observe how the pros do it.Before Ihenacho became the first San Jose State player to become a three-time first-team all-conference selection, he spent the summer before his senior season working alongside many of the 49ers during the NFL lockout."It was cool," Ihenacho said Sunday at the NFL scouting combine. "They were cool guys. They were pretty humble and they let us work in with them. Just having them there, you see the guys in person and you root for them because you know them now. It was a good experience."The 49ers offensive players held two weeks of playbook installations and practices known as "Camp Alex." But the San Jose State workout facilities became the 49ers' home for daily workouts for players on both sides of the ball.
"I remember looking at them as professionals," Ihenacho said. "Nobody was forcing them to be there. They were working to get better because they know it's important to them. I saw that."Ihenacho (6-foot, 213 pounds) was an all-WAC linebacker before moving to safety, where he appears to have a future in the NFL. He has the bloodlines. His brother, Carl, is a 255-pound linebacker with the Raiders.Ihenacho had seven interceptions in his career, with five of them coming in 2008. He said he let too many potential interceptions slip through his hands. And that's an area in which he knows he can improve.
"I've been working hard on my ball skills, and I'm a ballhawk now," Ihenacho said. "I'm a solid tackler, so I'm always around the football because my effort takes me there."Ihenacho said he found himself admiring the 49ers last season during their run to the NFC championship game. He said he envisions himself with some of Dashon Goldson's athleticism coupled with Donte Whitner's physical style.He figures he can step in and become an immediate core special-teams players in the NFL. And the 49ers' special teams definitely caught his eye."Tony Montana," Ihenacho said laughing. "Yeah I YouTube'd it a couple times."

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

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