49ers NFL Draft: 5 fun facts about Brandon Aiyuk
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: Division I Schools Wanted Brandon Aiyuk as a Defensive Back
Brandon Aiyuk’s JUCO efforts as a pass catcher got him some attention, but a number of high-profile programs saw him as a better defensive back than wide receiver.
Aiyuk played some defensive back at Robert McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada. And that gained some attention from a number of big-name programs.
Including head coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
But Saban reportedly wanted Aiyuk to play cornerback, and Aiyuk had already committed to Arizona State by the time Saban’s call came in.
AZCentral.com’s Michelle Gardner explained what happened:
"The 6-foot-1, 206-pound speedster was recruited by a lot of Division I schools, but many of those wanted him as a defensive back. Aiyuk wanted to be polite, so he didn’t exactly shut down those conversations, but the interest he had in playing wide receiver was enough for him to actually sign a letter of intent with ASU before he even visited Tempe."
Aiyuk might have an entirely different pedigree had he ultimately chosen one of the top collegiate programs in the country, Alabama.
But the chance to play his true passion, wide receiver, was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
The 49ers are surely glad he took this route.