Football in the Bay Area has been on the rise in recent years. High school, college and professional teams have enjoyed the type of success that earns national notoriety.
With Stanford University, Jim Harbaugh’s former school, earning back-to-back BCS Bowl invitations, the Cardinal have become the leaders in Bay Area collegiate football. Coach David Shaw has continued Harbaugh’s work at Stanford by bringing in academically and athletically gifted athletes. The Cardinal finished as the nation’s No. 7 team according to AP Top 25 results.
Another Bay Area school, San Jose State, also enjoyed impressive success in 2012. The Spartans finished the year 11-2 and No. 21 in the AP’s Top 25 poll.
Stanford remains the top team in the Bay Area entering 2013, but the University of California has visions of changing all of that with the hiring of Sonny Dykes as head coach. The Spartans, too, have hired a new coach who followed Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, Ron Caragher.
Harbaugh recently made a speaking appearance at San Jose State’s spring practice, lending his support to his friend.
The 49ers coach has a familiarity with Stanford players, but has not used a draft pick on one of them in two seasons. Instead, he’s signed several each year as undrafted free agents. Could the trend change in 2013? We’ll find out in a matter of days.
It should be noted that Bay Area talent will come into even greater focus this week with the 49ers announcing that their annual Bay Area pro day will take place on Wednesday.
Which college prospect with Bay Area ties would you like to see the 49ers draft? Leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.
Tags: Jim Harbaugh
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