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Shayne Skov Familiar with 49ers Defensive System

Posted May 14, 2014

Shayne Skov was one of the more prominent names in the seven-man undrafted rookie free agent class signed by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.



As tough as it was for Shayne Skov to not be one of the 256 players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, the former Stanford inside linebacker said he feels like he’s in the best situation to make an immediate impact this upcoming season.

Skov, a 6-foot-3, 247-pound linebacker, was one of the more prominent names in the seven-man undrafted rookie free agent class signed by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.

“I was trying to find the right environment to make my mark,” the former Cardinal captain said of his decision. “Not being drafted was difficult, but the only thing for me to do from here is to move forward and make the right decisions. I’m going to control what I can control and put myself in the best situation available.”

San Francisco also drafted accomplished Wisconsin inside linebacker Chris Borland in the third round of the draft to add depth to the run-stopping position.

Skov played in 13 games as a true freshman in 2009 and was also the team’s leading tackler in 2010, the year 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio held the same position on Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford coaching staff. He started 14 games last season.

Skov said San Francisco’s playbook has similarities to what he learned in college under Fangio.

“Some things have changed but there are some of the same principles,” Skov said. “Obviously the pro game is different from the college game, so the way things work and the mechanics are a little different.”

But was the familiarity with Harbaugh and Fangio the ultimate selling point in Skov signing with the 49ers?

“I don’t think that was it,” Skov said. “I was looking for a place that I thought I could get a chance to play, or at least make the 53-man (roster).”

Both rookie linebackers Borland and Skov will compete to fill in for injured All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman. San Francisco now has greater depth at the position, including experienced veteran Michael Wilhoite and second-year pro Nick Moody.

Skov and the rest of the rookie class have already started practicing with the veterans this week in the offseason program.

“It’s been good,” Skov said. “I’m just trying to get a good feel for the playbook and start to work with these guys.”

Skov said he can learn a lot just by watching  seven-time Pro Bowler, Patrick Willis and the rest of the team’s accomplished linebackers.

“It’s going to be great,” Skov said. “I’m really excited to work with these guys. It’s probably the best linebacking group in the country and in the NFL.

“I’m excited to learn what I can from them and hopefully be an active contributor.”