MOBILE, Ala. -– Under Armour Senior Bowl fans will see plenty of familiar faces on the South team sideline during the 2008 contest, as San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan and his staff have been selected to coach the Senior Bowl's South team for the third straight year, bowl officials announced on Friday.
Patrick Willis, LB
Total tackles: 1
Solo tackles: 1,658
Passes defensed: 5
Forced fumbles: 7
Michael Robinson, RB
Rushing yards: 121
Per carry average: 4.7
Receiving yards: 73
* Manny Lawson, LB
Total tackles: 57
Solo tackles: 47
* 2006 stats, Lawson was hurt most of 2007
"I think coaching the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity and a blessing for the entire San Francisco 49ers organization," Nolan said. "It's the best way to evaluate players that I've come to know. I think it's an exciting game, and it's an exciting bunch of players -- 95 to 100 percent of the players make a team in the NFL, so that's huge."
In 2007, the 49ers selected six Senior Bowl players in the draft, more than any other NFL team, and the group included both of their 2007 first-round draft picks in linebacker Patrick Willis, named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year on Friday, and offensive lineman Joe Staley. The others included wide receiver Jason Hill, defensive ends Ray McDonald and Jay Moore, and running back Thomas Clayton.
"For us to have an opportunity to coach those guys and evaluate them first-hand in meetings, get to know them, eat with them and do all those things for an entire week puts us one up in the evaluation process" Nolan said. "Last year we had a chance to get a close look at both of our first round picks in Patrick Willis and Joe Staley. It is just a great opportunity."
Entering the 2007 NFL season, over 575 former Senior Bowl players were listed on the active rosters of the 32 NFL clubs, and the 49ers featured more former Senior Bowl players than any other team with 25. That list included several 49ers starters such as recently retired Pro Bowl defensive lineman Bryant Young, 11-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Larry Allen, wide receiver Arnaz Battle and safety Michael Lewis.
In addition to their coaching staff, the 49ers will also be bringing their training, video and equipment staffs to Mobile to maximize the many benefits that the players will receive through their participation in the Senior Bowl.
The Senior Bowl is the nation's most unique football game and football's premier pre-draft event, annually featuring the country's best senior collegiate football stars and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South which are coached by the entire coaching staffs from two National Football League teams.
Senior Bowl practices are also attended by over 800 general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from the 32 National Football League teams.
Tickets sell for $24, $18 and $12 each and can be purchased at all area Food World stores, selected Regions Bank branches, the Senior Bowl ticket office in the Riverview Plaza Hotel and through the bowl's website at www.seniorbowl.com.