SANTA CLARA -– Jimmie Ward packed a tan suit and a lot of enthusiasm Friday morning for his trip from Mobile, Ala., to meet with his new employer.
And he will not be going home any time soon.
Ward will begin taking part in the 49ers’ offseason program next week -– even though he will not be medically cleared due to recent foot surgery. But he’ll have plenty to learn in the classroom.
“Yeah, there’s going to be a lot on my shoulders because I’m going to try to learn two spots,” Ward said before catching himself.
“I’m not going to try. I’m going to learn two spots. So it’s going to be more complex because it’s the NFL and I’m coming from college. It’s something you love, you’ll get the job done.”
The job began Friday as he was issued No. 25 and met some of his new teammates. Ward, who was a star safety at Northern Illinois, will learn the safety positions, as well as the nickel cornerback.
With seven weeks remaining in the 49ers’ offseason program, Ward figures to remain in the Bay Area for nearly two months. He said he didn’t even sleep after he was chosen Thursday night as the No. 30 overall pick.
“I didn’t even pack. I packed a suit. I got T-shirts, sweats,” Ward said. “Coach (Jim Harbaugh) said everything I need is in here. So I’m going to be wearing San Francisco sweats everywhere. Take pride in it. I have my hat. I might not take it off for weeks."
Ward might not get on the field for any work with his new teammates until the opening of training camp in late-July. He underwent surgery March 11 to repair a metatarsal Jones fracture.
"We have no concern over his foot," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. "He'll be full-go with training camp. . . . But (we're) very confident that he's going to be able to get going fairly soon and start to work through the offseason program and fully, 100 percent for training camp."