San Francisco 49ers

Cole Hikutini, prolific Boise State runner part of 49ers’ practice squad

Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols (13) runs the ball against UNLV defensive back Darius Mouton (21) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Boise, Idaho, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Boise State won 42-25.
Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols (13) runs the ball against UNLV defensive back Darius Mouton (21) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Boise, Idaho, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Boise State won 42-25. AP

The 49ers began to build their 10-man practice squad on Sunday. They announced eight additions while the NFL Network reported a ninth, running back Jeremy McNichols.

RB Jeremy McNichols. The Buccaneers drafted him in the fifth round but waived him Saturday. He was prolific at Boise State, rushing for 1,709 yards and 23 touchdowns and catching 37 passes for 474 yards and four touchdowns. None of the tailbacks on San Francisco's active roster have much experience catching passes out of the backfield, a major emphasis in Kyle Shanahan's offense.

TE Cole Hikutini. This seemed like it would happen after the Minnesota Vikings claimed Blake Bell off of waivers. Hikutini (Pleasant Grove High School) plays the same "move" tight end position that Vance McDonald and Bell played for San Francisco in the offseason. The 49ers pursued him hard after the draft.

CB Asa Jackson. The former Christian Brothers High School product had two interceptions in the preseason finale but lost out to Keith Reaser for the fifth cornerback spot. Jackson can play both nickel and outside cornerback.

WR DeAndre Carter. The former Sacramento State product impressed coaches with his hustle and versatility. Carter was one of the team’s punt returners in the preseason.

WR DeAndre Smelter. The 49ers have a decided lack of big bodies at the wideout spot. Rookie Kendrick Bourne is the only receiver on the active roster taller than 6 feet. The 49ers bring back Smelter (6-2), who gives them some security in that area if there are injuries.

QB Nick Mullens. He was the 49ers' No. 4 quarterback during the offseason and preseason. Still, it seems likely that if Brian Hoyer has to miss time the 49ers will put in a call to Matt Barkley before calling up Mullens.

DL Noble Nwachukwu. The former West Virginia linemen went undrafted and spent the spring and summer playing 'big end' and defensive tackle with the 49ers' third-string defense.

OL JP Flynn. He and Erik Magnuson, who made the 53-man roster, were the standouts of the interior line among 49ers rookies this year. Flynn, who played at Montana State, is a little bigger at 6-5, 310 pounds.

OT Darrell Williams Jr. Williams played both right and left tackle with the 49ers this summer. He's got nice length (6-5) with very long arms (35 inches) but needs to quicken his feet.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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