After the San Francisco 49ers traded up to draft safety Eric Reid from LSU with the 18th overall pick, the new Niner sat down with Bay Area reporters.
One of the most intriguing parts of the interview was the revelation that Jim Harbaugh recruited Reid when he was the head coach at Stanford. Reid, of course, chose to attend LSU but now Harbaugh will get his to coach the safety at the NFL level:
Did coach Harbaugh recruit you hard?
“Yes, it was the only school that recruited me as hard as LSU did. All the other schools gave up knowing I was an in-state guy. It shows how much he wanted me to go to Stanford and I appreciated it.”
Here is the full transcript of Reid’s interview from yesterday. Below the transcript are videos of Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke talking about why they targeted and traded up to draft Reid.
Q. How does it feel to be a Niner?
Eric Reid: “It feels amazing.”
Q. How would you describe your game?
ER: “I’m a very cerebral player. I pride myself on knowing the defense, on getting guys lined up on the scene, and being a great teammate and doing my job. I’m very fortunate to be on such an incredible defense. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Q. Dashon Goldson had a reputation as a hitter. How do you see yourself in the regard of a big hitter?
ER: “We play with severe contact at LSU. It’s definitely something I have on my resume as a football player.”
Q. What does it tell you they traded up to get you?
ER: “It’s an honor. A crazy story: I was on the red carpet and a reporter asked me a trivia question about who had the most draft picks. I said San Francisco. I guess it’s small world that they picked me.”
Q. What was your interaction with the 49ers leading up to the draft?
ER: “I met with coach Harbaugh at the (February scouting) combine. He recruited me coming out high school. He was disappointed for not coming to Stanford and instead going to LSU. The story goes full circle.”
Q. Was that your only contact with him?
ER: “Yeah at the combine I had a couple phone calls with him. I didn’t make a visit to California.
Q. Why didn’t you go to Stanford?
ER: “I was born and raised in Louisiana. I still bleed purple and gold. It was a no-brainer for me to go to LSU.”
Q. Did coach Harbaugh recruit you hard?
ER: “Yes, it was the only school that recruited me as hard as LSU did. All the other schools gave up knowing I was an in-state guy. It shows how much he wanted me to go to Stanford and I appreciated it.”
Q. Did you visit Stanford?
ER: “No I didn’t take any visits, other than to LSU.”
Q. Did you follow the 49ers season?
ER: “I definitely watched them because they have an incredible defense, similar to LSU. That’s something I liked to see. I’m very fortunate to be playing with them.”
Q. What strikes you about the 49ers’ defense?
ER: “How many guys are just phenomenal players. You name it. They’re the reason they got to the Super Bowl. The saying goes: ‘Defense wins championships.’ They didn’t win it this past year, but I look forward to getting to California and helping them back to the Super Bowl.”
Q. On his mom, Sharon, wanting you to come to the 49ers?
ER: “My mom works in the Bay Area, San Jose, she’s a traveling registered nurse. She’s been going back and forth to California since I was in middle school. That’s another reason I kept my eye on this team, because my mom’s been there. It’s a small world.”
Q. Did Harbaugh ever visit you on a recruiting trip?
ER: “No but the recruiting coordinator came, and I talked to (Harbaugh) on the phone a bunch.”
Q. Was that your daughter (LeiLani) you brought on to the stage tonight and how old is she?
ER: “Yes, she’s 3 and will be 4 in June.”
Q. How has that been, balancing fatherhood and preparing for the NFL?
ER: “It’s been tough and a long time coming. But at the same time it’s been such a blessing. She’s the reason I am the way I am today, along with the way I was raised. The game of football has changed for me. It was a personal goal at first, but now it’s a way for me to provide for my family and my daughter. I’m just ecstatic I can do that.”
Q. Did the 49ers tell you they were going to draft you?
ER: “They just said they’d be excited to have me. They didn’t tell me straight out that they would draft me. The draft is a big chess game and you never know what happens until it does. I’m just ecstatic.”
Q. How many teams told you that?
ER: “A lot of them. But I definitely felt a good vibe when I was talking to them. They have a guy named Greg Jackson (the 49ers assistant secondary coach) who wasn’t too bad in his days at LSU. It’ll be fun to work with him.”
Q. What do you know about the 49ers secondary?
ER: “I know it’s a great group. Hard-hitting safeties. Cover corners. I can’t wait to get to work with those guys.”
Q. What’s the tallest receiver you matched up against in college?
ER: “Probably 6-4. Texas A&M had two really tall receivers.”
Video of Baalke talking Reid draft selection:
Video of Harbaugh talking Reid draft selection: