Patton: I came from nothing; I just work, work, work
SANTA CLARA -- As it turns out, wide receiver Quinton Patton, who was set to become the first Bay Area resident among the 49ers' 11 draft picks, will be the final rookie to make the permanent move.
Patton was so eager to get to work with the 49ers in the days after the draft that he paid for his own flight and traveled from his home in Nashville more than a week before he was allowed to arrive in the Bay Area.
He was forced to return home to Nashville the next morning. This time, the 49ers purchased Patton's plane ticket to attend the 49ers rookie camp.
And, ironically, the fourth-round draft pick nearly missed his flight this time.
Patton could not get through airport security because he could not find his license. He finally found his identification deep in his luggage in a pair of pants, he said.
"I tried to come out here early last time and now I can't even get out there this time," Patton said.
Coincidentally, Patton is the only rookie attending this weekend's three-day minicamp who will not be allowed to participate in daily training sessions at the 49ers' practice facility on Monday.
Rookies are allowed to begin full-time work at NFL facilities only after their respective schools hold their graduation ceremony. Patton, who attended Louisiana Tech, can join the 49ers the following Monday.
Unfamiliar with rules preventing him from appearing at the team's training facility, Patton traveled to the Bay Area a couple days after the 49ers selected him with the No. 128 overall pick.
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"I thought once you got drafted you could come out here and get to work at any time," he said.
He was en route to the 49ers' practice facility when he surprised coach Jim Harbaugh with a phone call. Harbaugh had to tell Patton he could not come to the practice facility, but he was thrilled at the player's eagerness to get to work.
"He was hollering on the phone," Patton said. "I wasn't sure what he was saying at first."
That kind of attitude epitomizes what Patton is all about, he said. He said he likes to be among the first to arrive and among the last to leave work.
"I might not be the first one, but I'm one of the first ones out here," he said. "And I might not be the last one, but I'm just a hard-working guy who's ready to get to work every day."