May 10, 2014
By Tom Weber
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University quarterback Kory Faulkner signed a free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday and will fly to the Bay area for mini-camp on Monday.
Faulkner, who passed for 5,347 yards and 34 touchdowns in three seasons as SIU's starting QB, said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh spotted him at a Pro-Day workout while scouting Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was picked by the New England Patriots in the second round of this weekend's draft.
"Coach Harbaugh saw me throwing side-by-side next to Jimmy and liked what he saw," Faulkner explained. "He asked for some tape and really liked my tape."
Over Easter weekend, Harbaugh flew into St. Louis to meet one-on-one with Faulkner for a couple of hours. Although six teams indicated they had Faulkner on their draft board, the 49ers told him he was their number-one prospect.
"I respect Coach Harbaugh greatly and built a great relationship with him," Faulkner said. "He was honest with me the whole time on what their plans were. They're investing in me."
Faulkner was the only quarterback San Francisco added to the roster this weekend. He joins Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
"God's given me the ability and opportunity to make my dream come true," Faulkner said. "I'm going to compete and be the best player I can be."