Practice squad tracker: Okoye among seven 49ers added

Practice squad tracker: Okoye among seven 49ers added
August 31, 2014, 10:30 am
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At 6-foot-6, 304 pounds, Lawrence Okoye ran a 4.78 40-yard dash. (USATSI) 

Programming note: For complete coverage of the 49ers roster cuts, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 5:30 p.m., 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

The 49ers’ quest to turn Lawrence Okoye into an NFL player will continue.

Okoye, a defensive lineman who had never put on football pads before training camp of 2013, signed with the 49ers’ practice squad on Sunday after clearing waivers, he announced on Twitter.

Okoye (6-foot-6, 304 pounds) saw limited action during the exhibition season after sustaining an ankle sprain in the 49ers’ first game Aug. 7 against the Baltimore Ravens. He recorded one tackle and one quarterback hurry while playing 11 snaps in the 49ers' exhibition finale Thursday against the Houston Texans.

He has been a project for 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula due to his extreme athletic ability. Okoye, a former rugby player, was a finalist for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics in the discus.

Practice squad players are entitled to a minimum of $6,300 a week.

--The 49ers also signed tight end Asante Cleveland to the practice squad. Cleveland, an undrafted rookie from Miami, caught three passes for 22 yards and a touchdown in the exhibition season.

UPDATE: After Cleveland signed his contract, the 49ers had a change of plans. They called him back in, according to a source, to inform him that he would not be on their practice squad after all.

UPDATE AFTER THE UPDATE: The 49ers changed their mind on Cleveland, again. He will be back on the 49ers' practice squad, after all.

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--Inside Linebacker Shayne Skov, who was among the 49ers' final cuts, re-signed to the practice squad on Sunday, he announced on Twitter. The former Stanford standout surprisingly went undrafted in May and signed with the 49ers as a free agent.

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--Outside linebacker Chase Thomas was signed to the practice squad after a strong showing during the exhibition season. The former Stanford player originally signed with the 49ers in May after being released by the Green Bay Packers. He has also been with the Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons in his brief NFL career.

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--Nose tackle Mike Purcell, who spent all of last season on the 49ers' practice squad, is back there to open the season. Purcell originally signed with the 49ers in 2013 as an undrafted rookie from Wyoming.

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Tackle Carter Bykowski, a seventh-round draft pick in 2013, will be back to open his second season on the 49ers' practice squad after signing with the club on Sunday.

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Wide receiver Lance Lewis was signed to the practice squad to complete the 49ers' activity on the first day the club could start to form its practice squad. Lewis, a second-year player from East Carolina, provided the biggest play of the 49ers' exhibition season with a 49-yard catch from quarterback Josh Johnson on Thursday against the Texans.

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Teams are allowed to sign only their own cut players on Sunday. On Monday, the 49ers are expected to made additional signings of players who were released from other organizations over the weekend.

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