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LeBron James Called to Congratulate Carlos Hyde on His Week 1 Performance

Pierre Garçon's phone was blowing up Monday night.

That's what happens when you run for 168 yards and two touchdowns in front of a packed Levi's® Stadium and a national TV audience.

In a recent sit-down interview, the San Francisco 49ers running back said that besides hearing from his mom, his favorite postgame call or text came from a certain NBA superstar.

"I heard from LeBron James. Me and LeBron have the same trainer, David Alexander, down in Miami," Hyde said. "After the game I FaceTime'd LeBron and my trainer. They were super hyped."

James, an Akron, Ohio native and noted Ohio State Buckeyes fan, wanted to congratulate Hyde after the standout performance against the Minnesota Vikings. 

"He was just saying, 'That's what I'm talking about. Good stuff man, keep it up,'" Hyde said.

It was Hyde's first touchdown that dominated the social-media conversation on Monday. On his way into the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown run, Hyde unleashed a ridiculous spin move to get past a Vikings defender.

"It's funny, I tried to reenact the spin move in walkthrough today, and I couldn't do it again," Hyde joked before breaking down the play. "I saw the guy coming out of the corner of my eye and the first thing that came to my mind was to spin, and when you spin, spin fast.

"It worked. When I came out of the spin I saw (Colin Kaepernick) and Anquan (Boldin) out there running, so it was a race to the pylon."

The second-year running back's 26 carries against the Vikings are nearly one-third of his rookie total of 83 carries. The modest figure was because Hyde had the benefit of learning behind veteran ball-carrier Frank Gore.

Hyde said he wouldn't trade his experience as a rookie for anything.

"That was huge to learn from Frank," he explained. "Getting that year of experience under my belt and watching a guy who's done it year after year. Just seeing how he goes about things and approaches the game, you take things away from that and put it in my book so I can hide that in my back pocket."

Those trade secrets that Hyde gleaned from San Francisco's all-time leading rusher were on display against the Vikings.

"On Monday night, I was being really patient," Hyde said. "I took that from Frank. I had a really good block that I was more excited about than any of the touchdowns I had. That was another thing I took from Frank: pass protection."

After his first touchdown, Hyde raised his arms and flexed his biceps, a display that has become the running back's trademark celebration. Hyde adopted the touchdown tradition during his junior year at Ohio State. The 'back even changed his Twitter location to in "the end zone flexin.'"

The display, however, has far more meaning than to simply show off his gigantic arms. Tattooed on the inside of each bicep is a word that defines who Hyde is, both as a football player and as a person.

"Commitment and sacrifice," said the running back. "Those are two words back in high school, our team would create a list of words that meant a lot to the team, and those were the two words that we picked out. Those two words mean a lot, not only in football but in real life also."

Finally, Hyde was asked for one word to describe his running style.

"Violent," he said.

So what running back did Hyde admire as a young football player?

"I grew up watching Ricky Williams," Hyde said. "He ran violent. His approach to the game was violent, so I took after Ricky Williams growing up."

The 49ers hit the road for the first time this season in Week 2, and fans will be keen to see what Hyde has in store for an encore.

"We've just got to carry the momentum from Monday night over to Pittsburgh and keep things rolling," Hyde said.

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