Rocklin Native Brandon Aiyuk Shows Maturity in Year 3 of 49ers Training Camp

Jul 27, 2022, 5:09 PM | Updated: 5:09 pm
Norm Hall/Getty Images...
Norm Hall/Getty Images

The first day of training camp practice has wrapped up for the San Francisco 49ers as players and coaches spoke to the media afterwards to give their thoughts on the upcoming season.

One of those players was wide receiver and Rocklin native, Brandon Aiyuk, talking to the media Wednesday for the first time since training camp opened.

Aiyuk shined at training camp, connecting with Trey Lance and backup Nate Suffield numerous times throughout the session. Lance and his wide receiver spend some time together in the offseason, working out in Huntington Beach and connecting on personal levels to establish a better relationship between the two.

The early results are positive to say the least.

“He said I never used to talk to him and give him dirty looks. I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Aiyuk said jokingly Wednesday. “[This summer], we stayed in the same [Huntington Beach] house, hung out by the fire, talked, and I got to know who he is, and he got to know who I am, outside of football.

“Working hard, grinding together, chilling afterward. It’s a great thing. As a quarterback, you’ve got to be connected, on and off the field.”

Aside from their connection, Aiyuk was very complementary of his teammate, explaining what the North Dakota State product brings to the table for the 49ers.

“He extends the field. He makes those safeties back up, get out of their pedal fast. I think that’s great because it will give us all the underneath stuff we love to throw as well,” the Arizona State alum said.

The quick connection with his QB has allowed the third-year receiver to take on a new role with the team: Mentor. Aiyuk was seen coaching the rookies during OTAs earlier in the summer and continued that trend on the first day of training camp. A pivotal moment in his development was thanks to former 49er Mohammed Sanu, showing him how to lead by example last season.

Aiuyk and 49ers’ brass had a rocky start to the 2021 season as heard coach Kyle Shanahan benched the promising recover for falling behind early in camp last year. Since then, the coaching staff has been overwhelmed with the player’s change in demeanor, expecting bigs things from him not only on the gridiron, but in the locker room as well.

“Everyone knows how it started off last year. He was a little bit behind where I wanted him. He accepted the challenge and handled it like a man and got so much better,” Shanahan said Wednesday before practice.

Primed for a breakout season, the former Sun Devil managed 826 receiving yards and five TDs for the 49ers in 2021. Now with a young QB that likes to go off script and sling it downfield, expect bigger things to come for the 24-year-old and the Bay Area offense.

For all things 49ers and NFL, stay locked in here on Sactown Sports.

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