The San Francisco 49ers have signed fourth-round draft pick Quinton Patton to a four-year rookie contract, the team announced.
Patton starred as a wide receiver at Louisiana Tech, which put up more points than anyone in the nation last season. He earned first-team All-WAC honors and second-team All-American honors thanks to his 104 catches for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He has already earned praise from head coach Jim Harbaugh for showing up to work early, even when he wasn’t supposed to.
“He calls us two days ago and he said he’s here,” Harbaugh told KNBR. “He’s on his way. Just landed at the airport. He’s in his rental car. He’s coming over to the facility and he can’t wait to get started. And we had to go ‘Where? Which airport did you fly into? You’re in a rental car driving here? (He said) ‘Yeah, coach, I’m 20 minutes away.’”
If Patton had arrived at the 49ers’ headquarters, he would have been ineligible to participate in the three-day rookie minicamp, per NFL rules. Apparently, teams cannot meet with their new draft picks until the day of the minicamp.
So, Harbaugh and Co. had no other choice but to send him back to Tennessee.
However, Patton earned tremendous admiration from his new coach.
“The fact that he would buy his own ticket and fly out here, speaks volumes about him,” Harbaugh said. “To be honest with you, he reminds me of me. That’s something I would have done. I love it. I love it.”