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45 days until 49ers kickoff: Who wore it best? Who wears it now?

The San Francisco 49ers season starts in 45 days. We take a look at jersey No. 45, featuring a defensive back from way back in the day.

George Rose/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game. means San Francisco is now a mere 45 days away from kicking off its 2015 regular season. In the spirit of that approaching date, I thought I would steal this idea from our Oakland Raiders site.

Who wore it best: DB Elbert Kimbrough (1962-1966)

There has been a sizable number of players to wear No. 45 over the years. It has been a pretty low key group, with the most notable in recent years probably being Brandon Jacobs. He was pretty much useless during his time in San Francisco, eventually tweeting his way off the team.

The best to wear it has us going in the way back machine. I imagine most young fans, and probably a decent number of older fans do not know a whole lot about Elbert Kimbrough. Pro Football Reference lists him as a defensive back, but in the year-by-year position listing, they use the initials LS. Nowadays that would be long snapper, but I think it stands for "something" safety. This article from 2014 says he played strong safety, so maybe LS is some form of that. The article talks about his high school days, with some quotations about his pro career.

Who wears it now: TE Asante Cleveland (2014-present)

Asante Cleveland enters his second season sporting No. 45. He signed as an undrafted free agent last year, and worked his way onto the practice squad to start the season. The 49ers dealt with injuries to all four of their tight ends, and that resulted in Cleveland earning a promotion to the 53-man roster. He was active for six games, and will be competing for any kind of opportunity in 2015. My guess is he is destined for the practice squad once again, but his six games of experience are certainly a benefit.