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Owen Marecic

It takes two years, but former Stanford player Marecic is a 49er

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 4:38 pm

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh, who lamented missing out on drafting former Stanford fullback Owen Marecic in 2011, finally has his man.

The 49ers signed Marecic, a free agent, to a one-year contract Tuesday and placed nose tackle Ian Williams on injured reserve with a broken ankle.

Williams had surgery Monday after being injured in the first quarter Sunday when a Seahawks guard who was blocking him landed on his lower leg. Glenn Dorsey will take over as the team's starting nose tackle.

Harbaugh said Monday the 49ers would look at adding another nose tackle. They have one player, undrafted rookie Mike Purcell, on the practice squad. Another, rookie Quinton Dial, is eligible to play after Week 6. The team worked out former Patriots and Jaguars defensive tackle Kyle Love but did not sign him.

Marecic worked out for the 49ers late last month after being released by the Browns, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2011.

The 49ers have a good fullback in Bruce Miller, but Marecic, 24, has the versatility Harbaugh likes in players. He also played inside linebacker for Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at Stanford, and he likely will be used on special teams and as a reserve at fullback and linebacker.

While at Stanford, he scored nine rushing touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown. He also had 55 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two interceptions.

In Cleveland last season, Marecic was inactive for six games and finished with no catches and four dropped passes.

During the 2011 draft, Harbaugh said he wished he could have landed Marecic.

"We did everything we could to get him here and we came up short on that one," Harbaugh said. "Cleveland got an outstanding football player in Owen Marecic. Like Trent (Baalke) said, I'm going to be, in my mind, associated with Owen Marecic for a long time and following him and his career. I'll be a fan because I love the way he plays football."

Linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, who played for Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, was on the 49ers' 53-man roster for five games last season. Until Marecic was signed, Bakhtiari had been the only former Harbaugh protégé on San Francisco's active roster since Harbaugh became the head coach. Another former pupil, Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, plays the 49ers on Sunday at Candlestick Park.

The 49ers also reached an injury settlement with defensive lineman Will Tukuafu, who hurt his knee last week. That means the 49ers could sign Tukuafu later this season.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320.

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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