From hidden talents, battling through adversity, special causes to just flat-out weird, there are plenty of things to learn about the Niners from top to bottom.
Azeez Al-Shaair is a fighter on and off the field
Growing up one of eight kids in, things weren’t always easy for Al-Shaair’s family. In 2012 they moved in with Al-Shaair’s grandmother in Tampa, Florida, when the home went up in flames one night.
Al-Shaair made sure his family escaped safely. At the time, the family of nine’s only option was to settle in an extended-stay hotel. Challenging, to say the least, a few years later, Al-Shaair reflected: “A lot of my trials and tribulations in life have caused me to have a strong faith.”
Shon Coleman beat cancer
We haven’t seen much of Coleman since he signed with the 49ers in 2018. Part of that was due to injury. Part of that was due to COVID as Coleman opted out of the 2020 season.
Coleman’s a cancer survivor which makes him also high risk for COVID-19, beating a blood and bone marrow cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Coleman was diagnosed after his high school senior season, redshirted at Auburn in 2011, didn’t play in 2012, saw some action in 2013, and burst onto the season in 2014 and 2015. Coleman returned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2016, where he was treated to celebrate the Draft night with patients and care providers.
At the time, Coleman told ESPN: “There’s a lot of young kids that went through the same things I went through that look up to me...My engine is still running to let people know you can beat the odds and dreams never fade.”
Tom Compton moonlighted as an actor?
Yeah, you read that right. During his time in Washington, Compton and former teammate Ryan Kerrigan made cameos in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No. He played a news reporter interviewing a congresswoman about the severity of impending sharknados. Yes, it’s about as good as it sounds, but perhaps a secondary career for when Compton’s playing days are over?
Darrion Daniels has pipes
A self-proclaimed show choir kid in the NFL? Yep. As a high school freshman, Daniels has an incredible singing voice and even earned Male Vocalist of the Year in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Daniels grew up signing in church and hales from a musical family. The Oklahoma State and Nebraska product attributes his musical ability to his mother, Rhonda. From gospel, John Legend, operatics, and more, Daniels got the chops to sing it, and he shows that off here. At Big 12 Media Days in 2018, he crooned This Little Light of Mine like nobody’s business.
Samson Ebukam’s foundation hits close to home
The 2017 fourth-rounder was born in Onitsha, Nigeria, and is extremely proud of his Nigerian heritage. So much so, he started the T&S Foundation in 2020 to fulfill basic human needs for the people of Nigeria.
According to the Foundation’s website, the name — T&S Foundation — is for his father Tobias and mother, Stella. Specifically, funds raised go towards the former Ram’s hometown of Onitsha, where he traveled in 2020 to see the community’s current needs firsthand. From displacement, hunger, disease outbreaks, domestic violence, and other issues, Ebukam hopes to lend a hand to all.
Stay tuned for more Five Things You (Maybe) Didn’t Know.