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DeForest Buckner, Joshua Garnett Go from College Rivals to 49ers Teammates

No introductions were needed.

DeForest Buckner and Joshua Garnett were already familiar with one another. Annual meetings between Buckner's Oregon Ducks and Garnett's Stanford Cardinal made sure of that.

The former Pac-12 adversaries now join forces as the San Francisco 49ers pair of 2016 first-round selections. The duo had the opportunity to share memories of their four collegiate clashes.

"He was the best guard in the country," Buckner said of Garnett at a joint press conference last Friday. "When I found that out, I wanted to go against him the whole game. It's games like that where you get to go against really good competition, those are the games you look forward to.

"I told everyone on the d-line that I was staying on him the whole night. I wanted to compete against him."

Garnett's scouting report on his new teammate sounded remarkably similar.

"I was watching the film. He was tossing guys," Garnett said. "He's a real long guy, fast and physical. I knew that it was going to be a battle. You relish those opportunities to go against a guy like that. You know that you've got to be on your 'A' game or else it's going to be a long night."

Neither player can claim bragging rights as the schools split the past four matchups, but Buckner did get the last laugh. Oregon owns a two-game winning streak against Stanford, including a 38-36 victory in Palo Alto last November.

Buckner recalled that he saw more of Garnett in that game than any of the previous three.

"We were lined up across each other the whole game," Buckner later described in a sit-down interview with 49ers Studios. "We both knew it, and we both respected each other as football players. We knew from the start of the week that it was going to be a fight.

"From being opponents to being teammates, I know this is a good teammate to have."

The best of the competition between the first-rounders is yet to come. The reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year will face off against the nation's current Outland Trophy winner on a daily basis.

Garnett reiterated that he's looking forward to taking the popular "iron sharpens iron" approach onto the practice fields at the SAP Performance Facility.

"To be able to know that we're going to make each other better for all these years is exciting," he said. "You're going into a place where you know that you have to bring your 'A' game every day at practice or you're going to get beat. It makes you play at a higher level, and it makes the guy across from you go at a higher level."

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