Player Feature: Kerry Hyder Jr.
Like many other athletes, Hyder is a creature of habit. Whether that be the time he wakes up in the morning or how he washes his face, Hyder tends to not deviate from his daily routine. When he was on the cusp of making the Detroit Lions roster in 2016, he and his wife, Jasmine, went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Two days later, he recorded 3.0 sacks in the final preseason game. Following the performance, he made the team's 53-man roster for the first time. His sack streak continued, as he recorded at least 1.0 sack in each of the team's first four games. During that time, he made sure to spend each Friday at Outback Steakhouse with his wife. "It's just a joke between me and my wife," Hyder said at the time. "Like 'Gotta go to Outback. I don't care what we got planned tonight, gotta go to Outback.'" Outback Steakhouse was also where Hyder and his now-wife spent their first date, when Hyder was a college student at Texas Tech. After their date, Hyder recorded 3 tackles and a blocked punt against Oklahoma State. "And he had a great game," said Jasmine. "And now it's just part of tradition."
When Hyder joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, he immediately embraced the city. In October of 2019, Hyder set up a makeshift clothing shop at one of Dallas' newest drop-in centers for teens and young adults. The drop-in center was the latest addition to City Square's TRAC program, established for people 14-24 who are homeless or transitioning. The center is a place to study, lounge, write a resume or get a meal. "They have so many dreams. Just talking to them, they want to do so much. Talking to kids that want to go to med school, they want to play professional sports, they want to be doctors" said Hyder.
NFL players had the opportunity to participate in the NFL's annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign during the 2019 season. Hyder and players from around the NFL represented their respective causes with custom-designed cleats in an effort to raise awareness and funding. Hyder represented the Boys and Girls Club, Austin chapter.
Read more about Kerry Hyder Jr. by clicking his bio below.
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from 49ers General Manager John Lynch.
When you look at a guy like Deebo, what makes him such a special player?
"Completely different players, but I remember when I was playing in Tampa, [Former NFL FB] Mike Alstott, no one wanted to sit on the bench because when you're on defense you wanted to go see what he was going to do. I think Deebo's kind of that same way. His play, and I always say, [Former NFL Head Coach] Herm Edwards used to tell me, 'You can be special when you have that skill and then you have that elite will.' And I think when you watch Deebo play, that's what I see. And it's inspiring. It lifts everyone. And yeah, we get the same thing in our meetings, who's the player you try to play like and we even have defensive players saying Deebo, and I think that speaks volumes for who he is. And the guy loves to play. He loves to win and loves to compete. And it's been special to watch the young man develop."
What is the value of the combine?
"I think the opportunity. I love the interviews. That's probably what I get the most out of. I love having the whole league here so when you're trying to get league business done, it's a really good opportunity to be able to communicate face-to-face. You're on various committees and with the competition committee yesterday, you're meeting with agents talking about free agents. Everything's just right here. It's a tough week. The hours are long, but you can be extremely productive and you can get a lot done, but most of all, we're here as part of the evaluation process for these prospects. And as I say, the workouts are great and things catch your eyes in those workouts, but I can go home and watch those workouts on tape. But the interviews I think is where I get the most. You're right next to the guy, looking a guy in the eye and feeling their energy or feeling their passion or not feeling that. And so that's really what the combine is all about for me."
How much does a player's character factor in?
"I really believe that's something that's always been talked about, at least where I was at in Tampa, at Denver. There was just a standard and those were really good organizations that you conduct yourself a certain way. We certainly place an emphasis on that. I think it's the golden rule, you treat people like you want to be treated and it's so important that everyone feels welcome, that everyone feels treated in the right way. And so I've always had a good experience. I know that's not always consistent, but I've always had a good experience in that. But absolutely in today's world, it's a must."
WON of Us: Tiffany
In Tiffany's family, the 49ers fandom runs deep, what started as a ruckus from her father has turned into an entire family affair.
Ever since I can remember or at least recall watching TV, we've had the 49ers on to watch on Sundays. My dad would watch every game. My earliest 49ers memories are questioning what the ruckus was each week. As I grew older, I became more interested, and my dad took the time to teach me everything about the game and the team.
I've had several favorite players through the years but after the 2021 season, I'm just so inspired by Deebo Samuel. I have played some football either during college intramural or powder puff and always loved playing wide receiver so I find it very easy to root for Deebo. I also just love the joy that he plays with that you can see on gamedays.
What do you love about WON?
It's an awesome group! I wish I had looked into the club sooner. Football is seen as a dude thing but when I see other women who love football, I always gravitate toward them. I think it's so cool that the 49ers are offering this for their fans.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
I don't have a specific on-field moment that stands out, but I do have a moment that took my fandom from casual to avid. When I was about 12 years old, a friend of my mom took us to Candlestick to see a 49ers game and I was truly hooked in that moment. It was such an amazing sight to see the crowd. I have always thought that you can see so much better from the TV broadcast but there is no replacement for being amongst the fans. I think what really made the day so special as well was going down to the first row after the game ended, positioning ourselves by the locker room entrance to see the players come off the field. I was lucky enough to even catch the gloves from Julian Peterson.
Get to know WON member Tiffany.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
As a family, we try to get together every week to watch the 49ers play, which is really a special time for us. We are in our red and gold from head to toe. If the team wins that day, we typically all will save at least one article of clothing to wear the following week. Depending on the item, we may even opt to not wash it if we think it will help the team win.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
The question might work better for me if it was, how has the 49ers not impacted my life? There is something truly special about rooting for a team that is a part of the community and pulls so much passion from its fans. It brings us so much joy to love the 49ers. The sense of camaraderie that grows among folks who all band together to root for a team is unquantifiable. Whether they win or lose it brings us all together!
And on a final note, this past season was so incredibly special for me and my family. Not only was it an amazing feat to see how they could push through adversity to appear in the NFC Championship, but my brother is a part of the design team for the 49ers, and he had such a big hand in creating the look and feel of the 75th anniversary logo and celebration. Seeing the players and fans wear the logo was truly a dream come true for our family.
Women of the 49ers Front Office: Sofy Navarro
This Month in 49ers History
April 21, 1991
In the 1991 NFL draft held at the New York City Marriott Marquis, the 49ers selected six players who earned roster spots, including four future starters. In the first round San Francisco landed defensive lineman Ted Washington (Louisville), then picked running back Ricky Watters (Notre Dame), defensive back Merton Hanks (Iowa), offensive lineman Harry Boatswain (New Haven), and linebackers John Johnson (Clemson) and Mitch Donahue (Wyoming). Watters and Hanks earned Pro Bowl berths with the 49ers.