49ers notes: Montana's son wants to make a name for himself

Published: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 7:58 am

SANTA CLARA – He's got his dad's last name, his dad's height and – for one day at least – the same color jersey his dad wore for the 49ers.

Nate Montana was one of 57 pro prospects on hand for the 49ers' local pro day Wednesday, throwing passes alongside Cal quarterback Zach Maynard and completing them to Stanford tight end Zach Ertz and San Jose State tight end Ryan Otten.

What Montana doesn't have is his famous father's prominence. And unlike Ertz and Otten, he probably won't be drafted next week.

That's OK, Montana said after the afternoon session.

After all, he's had a roundabout college career that took him from Notre Dame to Pasadena City College to Montana and finally to Division II West Virginia Wesleyan, where he played last season.

While the 49ers took Joe Montana in the third round of the 1979 draft, Nate Montana said he hoped to join an NFL team as an undrafted free agent and was eyeing the Canadian Football League or the Arena League as well.

"Coming back here where my dad played, you've just got to put your head down and make your own name," he said. "It's like a blessing and a curse.

"You just try to ignore the, 'Oh, that's Joe Montana's son. That's Joe Montana's son.' You just go work and show them that you're a different player from your dad."

Stronger than before – Standing a few feet from the 49ers' new stadium, Otten, who is from Loomis and who played at Del Oro High School, said he was hoping to be drafted by San Francisco.

"I'm from Northern California. I grew up a 49ers fan," he said. "I couldn't ask for anything better than if I played here."

Two months ago, Otten was recovering from a powerful staph infection he picked up at the Senior Bowl in January. He was on a regimen of intravenous antibiotics, and his weight dipped to 220 pounds.

He's up to 245 pounds and feels stronger – and more confident – than he did before his ordeal.

"Anytime you go through adversity and make it out the other side, it makes you stronger," Otten said. "And I feel like I'm bigger, stronger and more mentally tough after everything I've been through."

The 6-foot-6 Otten is expected to be a mid-round pick in a draft that is deep in tight ends.

Fond farewell – General manager Trent Baalke said maintaining a good relationship with quarterback Alex Smith was paramount for the 49ers even when it became clear they would be able to trade him.

Mission accomplished.

Asked whether Smith continued to work out at the 49ers' facility even after news broke in late February that he would be traded to Kansas City, Baalke said yes. In fact, he continued to work out – in 49ers gear – even after the trade to the Chiefs became official in mid-March.

"What we promised was that we were going to do everything we could to fulfill his desires," Baalke said. "And we were able to do that."

Baalke said multiple teams were interested in Smith but "Kansas City was clearly the most interested in getting this done and getting it done quickly."

Et cetera – Baalke said all but six or seven players have shown up for the team's voluntary offseason strength and conditioning program, which began Monday. One absentee is wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who is in the process of moving his family and has not yet joined his teammates at the practice facility.

• The 49ers have 13 picks in next week's draft and already have nine for the 2014 draft. They have one extra pick that year from the Smith-to-Kansas City trade and another from last year's trade that sent backup safety Colin Jones to Carolina.

• Ertz arrived at the practice facility intending only to meet with coaches, but he couldn't resist putting on his cleats and joining the other players on the field. "I was told I shouldn't work out, but at the end of the day, I wanted to work and compete," he said.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.

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