49ers draft pick conference call: 5th round pick Nate Davis

The 49ers used their fifth round compensatory selection on Nate Davis, the quarterback out of Ball State.  It remains to be seen if he could be the long term answer at QB, but he is definitely an intriguing option.  He won't be forced into an ugly Alex Smith situation, so we'll see what some bench time does for him.

RE: What’s your reaction to being picked by the 49ers?

“It’s just a great opportunity. I came out there to visit: it’s a beautiful place. Great coaches – Coach [Mike] Johnson. There’s just some great coaches. It’s a dream come true.”

RE: Did you have an idea when you came out here that you were on the radar and that you could be getting the call on the second day?

“I was thinking, sometimes I’ve heard before when you go it’s just to show people that you’re looking at them. I liked it a lot out there, loved the coaches but I always had a feeling that San Fran was the place for me.”

RE: What other teams did you visit?

“I visited the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

RE: Why is San Francisco the place for you?

“Because Alex Smith is a great quarterback and Coach Johnson is a good quarterbacks coach, and I can learn great stuff from them.”

RE: What’s the difference between Nate Davis and Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez?

“Personally I don’t think there’s really anything different. I think the big difference is he went to Georgia and I went to Ball State. Sanchez went to USC, I went to Ball State. It’s a bigger school and unfortunately they had better competition but it all worked out. It doesn’t matter what round you get drafted in, you just go out there and show yourself.”

RE: During the season, you were rated pretty highly. Why do you think your stock fell a little bit on draft day?

“I really don’t know. I think it’s because I have a learning disability. It’s really…. I really don’t think I have a learning disability in football. I’ve just got to keep on going, keep on working hard and show San Fran what I can do.”

RE: Can you tell us about your disability?

“It’s in reading and writing.”

RE: Can you be more specific?

“Really, I really don’t know what kind of disability it is. I just know that it takes me a longer period of time to read and to write about it.”

RE: How long have you been aware of that?

“Since the seventh grade.”

RE: Is it a form of dyslexia?

“No, it is not.”

RE: Does it inhibit you from learning a playbook? Has that been a problem at Ball State?

“No, definitely not. I don’t think that in football I have a learning disability. It’s just during school.”

RE: What kind of consideration did you give to staying at Ball State for your senior season? Or do you pretty much feel like you’ve already come out and accomplished everything you can at Ball State?

“I think I accomplished everything I could at Ball State. I [inaudible] a bunch of seniors. I thought that was big. But I think I accomplished everything so it was time for me to move on.”

RE: You pretty much were shotgun all the time, right?

“Actually, I wasn’t shotgun the whole time. I was probably about 30%, 100% or all. But I like being under the center a lot.”

RE: As I recall seeing you every Thursday night on ESPN, wouldn’t you just grab the ball, throw it and not really care where the laces were?

“Yes. In high school, I was in the shotgun 99% of the time, a lot of three steps so essentially in the shotgun, we would just sit there and just catch and throw. So that’s how I started just doing it like that.”

RE: And your hands are big enough to where you don’t need the laces for extra grip?

“No sir.”

RE: Is this something you talked with Mike Johnson about when you got here?

“Yes he did talk to me about that. He said, ‘It’s not a problem as long as you get the job done.’”

RE: But when you’re under center, obviously, you have the laces?

“Yes. Definitely. I can throw with the laces. That’s no problem.”

RE: Do you prefer to throw with the laces?

“No I do not. I prefer to throw without the laces. But, it’s really – I can throw with the laces. It’s no problem.”

RE: Do you plan to be wearing gloves when you come out here to play and practice?

“I will have them, but it all depends if I feel comfortable wearing them. It’ll just – see how I feel throwing the ball.”

RE: Did you throw with gloves at the combine?

“No I did not.”

RE: And how did that feel?

“It felt good. I had a couple of bad throws, but that happens.”

RE: It seems like your play declined during the later part of the season. Do you think that accounted for where you were drafted?

“I don’t think so. Everybody has bad games, but I just had two bad games in a row. So I just think that the whole learning disability hurt me. I can’t do anything to fix that. That’s just what God gave me.”

RE: Were those two losses bad weather games?

“One was a bad weather game and one was the MAC Championship. Just had a bad game.”

RE: I’m a little confused here, you said you don’t have a learning disability in football, but you said those last two games were because of the learning disability. Which is it?

“Oh no no, I’m sorry. I thought you meant the weather. I thought you said the weather…No, I don’t think that – it wasn’t because of the learning disability, not at all. It’s just that – things were going through the team with our head coach leaving. I just don’t think we were all on the same page as a team.”

RE: At this point in time, there’s not clearly defined quarterback of the future with this team. What kind of opportunity do you see for yourself here and could you be the quarterback of the future?

“In my head, yes I do see myself like that. I’m just going out there, I just want to do everything I can to help the team. Even if I’ve got to be a practice player. All I want to do is just help the team.”

RE: When you came out of high school were you recruited much?

“No, not really. I wasn’t recruited much but I had a couple of offers. I had Indiana, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Ball State and Toledo. So I didn’t have that many.”

RE: Were all those offers to play quarterback?

“Only one wasn’t. One was West Virginia, which I already knew that they had Pat White. They offered me a full ride as an athlete. Well, I said, ‘Thank you, but I want to play quarterback.’”

RE: How did you feel about your pro day at Ball State when one team, the [Indianapolis] Colts showed up? What did that do for your self-esteem?

“It gave me motivation to keep on working hard. I know that a lot of these quarterbacks have a lot of these teams show up but what I look in my head is it takes one team to fall in love with me and I’m glad that [San Francisco] did.”

RE: What do you think that San Francisco wanted to get from the meeting with you a couple of weeks ago?

“I think they wanted to [know] about my learning disability. I think that I did good in the meetings with them and show them that the learning disability wasn’t a factor.”

RE: Did you have to go up on the board?

“Yes I did.”

RE: And that went alright?

“Yes, that went good.”

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