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Harbaugh Has Familiarity with Reid

Posted Apr 25, 2013

Jim Harbaugh finally got his man, drafting Eric Reid, who he tried to recruit to Stanford.

Jim Harbaugh remembers the players he tried to recruit at Stanford who ended up going elsewhere. When it comes to moving on, the 49ers head coach is "like an elephant, I never forget."

The newest member of the 49ers, safety Eric Reid, is no exception.

Harbaugh tried to recruit the Louisiana native to come to Palo Alto. According to Reid, Harbaugh was the only coach outside of LSU to show a lot of interest since it was a forgone conclusion he would play for his hometown Tigers.

"All of the other schools pretty much gave up knowing that I was an in-state guy," the 49ers first-round pick recalled, "but it said a lot about how much he wanted me to go to Stanford and I appreciated it."

Reid's father was an all-American track athlete at LSU so it was a natural fit to stay in the area in which he was born and raised.

That didn't stop Harbaugh from making contact early and often before Reid's commitment was finally official.

"It was mainly phone calls with Eric, two conversations with Eric Reid Sr. and a lot of emails with Mrs. Reid," Harbaugh said. "It was at a time where head coaches weren't allowed to go out on the road recruiting. By the time that I could go visit him in person, he had already committed to LSU and I respected that decision."

Reid may have turned down Harbaugh in 2010, but had the 49ers coach at the top of his list prior to the NFL Draft. With Reid's mother making frequent trips to California as a traveling nurse, Reid saw San Francisco as a natural fit and kept up on the 49ers defense.

“I definitely watched them because they have an incredible defense," the 6-foot-1 safety said. "Some went to LSU, so that’s something that I like to see and I’m very fortunate in being that I’ll be playing with them.”

Because of the familiarity with Reid, the 49ers got their "top-rated safety" and Reid was able to come the team that was his first choice.

For Harbaugh, the victory in getting Reid was a long time coming.

"This time Eric had no choice in the matter and it feels great to have him."