- Editor's Note: "Mr. Relevant: Brock Purdy's NFL Story," a 49ers Talk original series, details the QB's incredible journey from the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft to Bay Area superstar through his eyes and those closest to him, his mom and dad.
Brock Purdy rapidly rose from Mr. Irrelevant to NFL fame during his rookie season, but the 49ers quarterback remains humble and appreciative.
“It’s been a crazy year,” Purdy recently told NBC Sports Bay Area in an exclusive interview. “Going back to last year, trying to make the team, and give my teammates and coaches a good impression and prove to them that I’m worthy of being on this team.
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“Obviously now, being welcomed by the fan base, just very thankful by how everything has played out.”
Before Week 13 last season, when Purdy, the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, took over the 49ers' offense after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending foot injury, the Iowa State product was virtually unknown. Then everything changed.
During an eight-game winning streak that took the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game, Purdy became an overnight sensation. The 23-year-old even received a standing ovation at a San Jose Italian restaurant while having a postgame meal with his family.
“I just do my best to give back and love on the fans,” Purdy said. “The fan base, the people around here, so many good people that I have come to meet and encounter. It’s been awesome being able to hear people and the passion, love and the history of their families and generations watching the Niners grow up.
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“Being able to be a part of that now, in the current times, for me, I just want to love on them as best I can.”
Purdy’s father, Shawn, is proud that his son’s demeanor hasn't changed at all since he improbably became the 49ers' starting QB. Their close relationship has helped Brock both on and off the field, especially when it came to recovering from the UCL injury he suffered just eight months ago.
“He’s always the same person, regardless of what happens,” Shawn recently told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I just love how he loves his teammates. It’s not about him, it’s about his team, what can I do for you, and that’s real and authentic, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Purdy isn't resting on his laurels, aware that this is a new season and everyone is gunning for a 49ers team that was one win away from a Super Bowl appearance.
The desire to bring a sixth Lombardi Trophy back to the Bay isn't lost on the young play-caller. He understands the Faithful's expectations, having seen the likes of Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jerry Rice win championships.
“Still have a lot to do,” Purdy said. "Still learning a lot and growing, but I’m very thankful not thinking about, I’m the man or this or that. But just this happens to be the position I play right now, and the fans want to win and so do I. And together, let’s go do this thing.”
Shawn Purdy is just happy to watch his son do what he loves -- win, lose or draw. Seeing Brock live out his gridiron dream has been fulfilling after the doubt that surrounded his NFL potential from the beginning.
“You’re just so happy for him because ever since he was little, he wanted to be in that TV playing football,” Shawn said. “All of the, ‘You’re not big enough, you can’t do this, you can’t do that,' and to see him get the opportunity to do that, we are just so happy for him. What do you do? You cry."