San Francisco's rookie class traded football helmets for construction hardhats after Wednesday's OTA session at 49ers headquarters.
The 22-man rookie class each put on construction safety gear to prepare themselves for an up close tour of Levi's® Stadium, the 49ers future home set to open in 2014.
The tour, organized by Vice President of Football Affairs and four-time Super Bowl Champion Keena Turner, allowed the entire rookie group to get a deeper look at the billion dollar building. The rookies have looked at it for the past month from the 49ers practice fields, now it was time to go inside.
"It's a different view," first-round pick Eric Reid said. "Coming down the tunnel, it was cool to see it in construction."
Reid, a safety drafted No. 18 overall out of LSU, and his fellow rookies posted pictures of the tour on their social media accounts. Reid joked that the rookies were called on to help with construction.
"I took a few pictures so when there's a finished product I can compare the pictures from now and when they're done with it," said Reid, who was fascinated by the stadium's size once the rookie walked on to the dirt lot where the playing surface will be installed.
Fourth-round pick Marcus Lattimore also enjoyed the tour and couldn't help but imagine what it'll be like when the 49ers open the stadium in 2014.
"It's going to be amazing," the running back out of South Carolina said. "They say it's going to seat almost 70,000 and looking at the layout of it, it looks amazing. I can't wait to play in it."
Both Reid and Lattimore are used to packed atmospheres coming from SEC football powers.
Reid knows there won't be as many people in the 49ers new stadium as the 92,000 people who attended his college home game, but still appreciates the vision of the stadium he'll call home for his second season in San Francisco.
"I don't think they can pack as many people in there as they did in Tiger Stadium, but it's definitely a nice venue," Reid said. "I can see where they're going with it. Hopefully it's going to have a nice big screen for the fans to enjoy… It's coming along nice."
Reid said the tour gave the rookie class another opportunity to bond and get closer. It also allowed the rookies a chance to ask questions about the stadium they see every day.
"They were telling us all kinds of cool facts about the stadium," Reid said. "Everything is very environmental out here so there were a bunch of facts that the construction guys were telling us."
Facts aside, the rookie class will have to stay focused on securing spots on San Francisco's 53-man roster.
For one afternoon, however, the group put the playbooks aside for a short time and enjoyed each other's company while marveling over San Francisco's future home stadium.
Lattimore also knows that Super Bowl L being hosted at the stadium makes the construction process even more special.
"It's going to be an exciting time," Lattimore said. "We want to be in that game."