SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Who is the 49ers new starting quarterback Brock Purdy?
The San Francisco 49ers have had a rollercoaster 2022 regular season, to say the least.
From losing their young prodigy at quarterback (Trey Lance) in Week 2 to losing their veteran signal-caller in Week 13 (Jimmy Garoppolo), this season has been a bumpy ride for 49ers fans and the organization alike. Despite the bumps, San Francisco has managed to stay atop the NFC West at 8-4 heading down the stretch run of the regular season.
Partially thanks to the play of rookie quarterback Brock Purdy in Week 13.
Tasked with beating a surging Miami Dolphins team, the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft delivered for San Francisco, posting 210 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception Sunday. It wasn’t “Purdy” all the time (sorry I had to), but the rook came through enough to spark the team’s defense to hold up their end of the bargain in the second half.
And with Garoppolo now out for the season due to a fractured left foot, all eyes are on the Arizona native to keep the Red & Gold afloat for the rest of the season. But before we get to his first potential start in Week 14, let’s take this time to learn a little bit about Brock Purdy and his journey to the NFL.
Brock Purdy postgame autograph session #49ers pic.twitter.com/6vvSdtAgLS
— Tracy Sandler (@49ersfangirl) December 5, 2022
A record holder at Iowa State
While not a household name on the west coast, everyone knows Purdy’s name in Iowa.
Starting as a third-string freshman in 2018, Purdy started his ascension to relevance as a sophomore in the Cyclones’ program. Over the next three seasons, the Arizona native shined, earning a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2019 and first-team All-Big 12 honors his junior and senior seasons. Purdy finished as a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist in 2019 and in 2020, while also finishing as a semifinalist for the Manning Award.
Purdy finished his collegiate career as the winning QB in Iowa State history with a 30-17 record over three seasons. He also finished as the program’s leader in passing yards (12,170), touchdown passes (81), completions (993) and completion percentage (67.7). Purdy is one of six players in Big 12 history with 10,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a career.
Purdy turned down Alabama Scholarship in high school
Hard to believe right?
Back in 2017, Purdy missed his junior season after getting mono. The infection wiped out the Arizona gunslinger’s season and all of his offers to football on the collegiate level.
The following year, Purdy revived himself and the Perry High School football program, doing enough to receive an offer from Montana State by midseason. But as Perry kept on winning, colleges began to take notice. Including Nick Saban and Alabama, offering Purdy a walk-on opportunity in Tuscaloosa.
By the time Perry made the playoffs, Purdy was being named Arizona’s Gatorade Football Player of the Year. He finished his senior season with 4,410 passing yards and 57 TDs, also running for 1,016 yards and 10 scores.
Naturally, Saban came back around, this time offering him a scholarship. But in typical Purdy fashion, he turned it down, opting for the Cyclones of Iowa State.
A big what-if in the college landscape.
The seventh QB taken last in NFL Draft, potentially the first to start a game
They call it “Mr. Irrelevant”, but the prestigious title has some very exclusive lineage tied to it.
Selected 262nd overall back in April, Purdy became just the seventh QB to be selected last in an NFL draft, joining George Haffner (Colts, 1965), Randy Essington (Raiders, 1984), Larry Wanke (Giants, 1991), Ronnie McAda (Packers, 1997), Chandler Harnish (Colts, 2012) and Chad Kelly (Broncos, 2017).
Out of all the signal-callers taken, only Kelly has logged any regular season snaps before Brock Purdy did Sunday. Likely the starter for Week 14 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the former Cyclone will set a new record, becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to start an NFL regular season game.
He’s about as old as Tom Brady’s Career
Speaking of Tampa Bay, Tom Brady will be young Purdy’s first NFL matchup when he comes to town next weekend. When asked about his first potential NFL start, the 49ers rookie was pretty candid on the situation, throwing in a light-hearted jab at the G.O.A.T. of football.
“Yeah, I think it’s cool. I think it’s really cool. Dude’s been playing football longer than I’ve been alive,” Purdy said laughing Sunday night. “So yeah, to have a first start against the GOAT, it’s going to be pretty cool. But just any other game, man, it’s got to be efficient, do my thing, and play football.”
A full circle moment for Purdy, now having to face one of his idols in his first professional start of his career.