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Malik Mustapha Goes From 49ers Fan to 49ers Draftee | Off the Field

Since childhood, Wake Forest safety Malik Mustapha was a fan of the San Francisco 49ers. In the 2024 NFL Draft, the 49ers were a fan of Mustapha.

Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Mustapha was uniquely surrounded by Dallas Cowboys fans in his family. However, because he wanted to stand out, Mustapha chose a different path and decided to become a 49ers fan. His love for San Francisco was fueled by playing as a member of the 49ers in Madden. Through playing the video game, he pinpointed his favorite NFL player, former 49ers running back Frank Gore.

"My family grew up being Cowboys fans," Mustapha said. "Sometimes I like being on the opposite side. Playing Madden at a young age, I loved using Frank Gore during that time... I just grew up loving the 49ers and what they brought to the table. It just stuck with me."

Fast forward years later to the 2024 NFL Combine, Mustapha had just one official meeting on his schedule. It was with the team he had supported since childhood, the 49ers. In that meeting, he found himself face to face with the 49ers personnel and scouting department, including one of his all-time favorite players, Gore, who's on the team's staff as a football personnel advisor. It was a surreal moment for the soon-to-be draftee as he impressed the 49ers leadership with his knowledge and passion for the game.

"It was awesome being able to meet, (president of football operations/general manager) John Lynch, obviously, and the whole staff. Even Frank Gore was in there. He's someone that I grew up watching and it was kind of a starstruck moment. But it was definitely a good meeting with them, I talked about my life and things like that. And throughout the process too, I talked to scouts post-Combine."

On the third day of this year's draft, it all came full circle when the 49ers selected Mustapha in the fourth round with the 124th-overall pick. In the draft call, head coach Kyle Shanahan jokingly urged Mustapha to "get his family on board" with also becoming 49ers Faithful.

Despite her lifelong fandom for the Cowboys, Mustapha's mother took to social media to express her newfound love for the 49ers organization for drafting her son.

With his childhood dream realized, Mustapha now sets his sights on making an impact on the field for the team he's loved since childhood.

"I'm just blessed that it came full circle for me. I'm so honored to be here and I'm ready to get to work."

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