Jaquiski Tartt will soon be starting anew in the Bay Area, but he won't be doing it alone. Not even close.
The San Francisco 49ers second-round pick is reuniting with his best friend from high school, who just so happens to be the team's first-round pick from a year ago, Jimmie Ward.
"We talked about this day and how it would be crazy to be on the same team," Tartt said on Thursday moments after hearing his name announced at the 2015 NFL Draft. "For it to actually happen, it's crazy."
Teammates at Davidson High School in Mobile, Ala., Tartt and Ward spoke just last week about the possibility of joining forces in San Francisco. Neither thought the dream scenario would come to fruition.
With the 46th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected DB Jaquiski Tartt out of Samford.
"I was ecstatic," Tartt said. "I prayed to God to put me in the right spot, and he came through for me. I ended up on a team with my best friend."
Tartt, a safety, was a FCS All-American as a senior last fall. He finished his collegiate career with 277 tackles, six interceptions, 20 pass breakups and 6.5 tackles for loss.
Ward was one of the first people Tartt texted after the 49ers called and welcomed him to the organization. The two met as freshman in high school but became much closer friends in college.
"We competed every Saturday. We compared our stats," Tartt said. "We talked before the game like, 'I'm going to go out there do this today.' We just wanted to compete however we could. Just encouraging each other."
Although Ward always had aspirations of playing in the NFL, Tartt figured he'd play the sport in college so he could earn a degree and get a stable job after graduation. Tartt's major at Samford was in Geographic Information Systems.
His friend, however, encouraged him to pursue football as a career.
"Jimmie actually told me, 'You can make it, you can make it too.'" Tartt said. "I was like, 'Nah, I'm just going to leave it up to you and cheer you on.' Now here we are."