A 10-minute radio interview from the 49ers head coach has turned
But more importantly than fan adoration, the new wideout is thoroughly admired by Jim Harbaugh.
Patton, San Francisco’s fourth-round pick in 2013, showed his loyalty and eagerness to the 49ers two days after he was chosen No. 128 overall in the draft.
The Louisiana Tech wideout bought his own plane ticket from Nashville to San Francisco. The new 49ers wide receiver rented a car, too.
Patton wanted to be with the 49ers immediately, but was told to turn around by Harbaugh, himself.
NFL rules, however, prohibit rookies from showing up to their team’s facility unless it’s 24 hours removed from their draft selection.
Patton, however, wasn’t allowed to show up at 49ers headquarters. If he made his way to the facility, he would have forfeited his right to participate in the team’s three-day rookie minicamp on May 10.
“That’s how gung-ho he was,” Harbaugh said of his incoming rookie receiver. “The fact that he would buy his own ticket, fly out here, speaks volumes about him.”
Harbaugh wished the 49ers would have been more detailed when giving traveling instructions to their new receiver, but noted that Patton didn’t take heed to the words from the team or his agent. He was just too eager to begin his 49ers career.
“He reminds me of me,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something I would’ve done.”
Even after the mishap, Harbaugh said he can’t wait to give Patton a big hug when he’s officially allowed to report to team headquarters.
The 49ers coach did recognize that the mistake will only endear Patton to the team’s fan base and football fans in general.
“It’s probably the best money he’s ever spent,” Harbaugh said.