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49ers RB Lattimore Encouraged Ellington in College

Posted May 10, 2014

San Francisco's top fourth-round selection, a wideout with returner skills from South Carolina, said his college-turned-pro teammate was often in his ear.

The wide receiver that the San Francisco 49ers drafted on Saturday has only played the position for three years.

A current 49ers running back helped get him started.

South Carolina product Bruce Ellington offered his thanks to former college, current pro teammate Marcus Lattimore.

"Marcus is a team player," Ellington told reporters after being selected 106th overall, 25 spots ahead of where Lattimore was drafted this time last year. "When I was there, he was one of the guys that came to me and told me to come out and play football. We have a good relationship. It will get even better."

A look back: Lattimore rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns in his freshman season, earning most every honor a first-year college running back could possibly garner. That same year, 2010, Ellington started as a freshman too – but for the basketball team. The point guard averaged 12.8 points per game.

Ellington's rare athleticism transferred from the hardcourt to the gridiron – he ran 4.45 second 40-yard dash – but he had only played quarterback, running back and defensive back in South Carolina's Berkeley High. The 5-foot-9, 197-pounder said he knew by his sophomore campaign for the Gamecocks football team that his future was in one sport.

"I feel like I have lot of (room to) grow," Ellington said.

In his final season before entering the draft and meeting the 49ers at the Scouting Combine in March, Ellington made 49 receptions, including seven touchdowns. He said he would welcome the opportunity to return kicks and punts.

"They told me to come in and be ready to compete," Ellington said when asked about joining the 49ers deep wide receiver corps. "That will help me get better because I know those guys can play."

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