49ers rookie recap: 3 players who impressed most in preseason Week 2

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Talanoa Hufanga, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: 49ers Safety Talanoa Hufanga

Talanoa Hufanga, like Deommodore Lenoir, was given the opportunity to start Sunday night’s game with starting safeties Jimmie Ward (coach’s decision) and Jaquiski Tartt (injured) sidelined.

Hufanga, like Lenoir, took the opportunity and ran with it, putting another outstanding preseason game on tape to corroborate his veteran-like performance in training camp over the past several weeks.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

Consistently disciplined in his assignments in the passing game and an absolute menace at the line of scrimmage, Hufanga wasn’t flashy, but he quietly dominated, also continuing to show that he is the front runner to be the ace in special teams coverage this year.

Hufanga had the 49er Faithful on their feet at SoFi Stadium Sunday night, when he shot the gap on the Chargers’ final drive of the first half, blowing up Chargers second-year running back Joshua Kelley in the backfield for a 3-yard loss.

What stands out about Hufanga, even more, is his confidence. After the tackle, Hufanga gave his signature celebration, forming a “capital T” with his forearms.

After the game, Kyle Shanahan was effusive in his praise for Hufanga, whose play is reminiscent of general manager John Lynch:

"I think Hufanga with the way he’s played these last two weeks and the way he’s been in practice, I think he’s definitely given himself an opportunity [to start]."

Although there was trepidation about the 49ers’ perceived lack of depth in the secondary, Hufanga and Lenoir have both worked to assuage those initial fears. If Hufanga keeps playing as he has been in camp and in preseason games, he will look to put that “capital T” stamp on opposing players and on this 49ers defense as a starter, sooner than later.

Next. Winners, losers from 49ers preseason win vs. Chargers. dark