Tight End University

Kittle's fourth annual Tight End University biggest success yet

NBC Universal, Inc.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- George Kittle’s fourth annual Tight End University brought together several former and present 49ers players to the Music City for a three-day event.

The All-Pro tight end hosted the gathering with Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce and NFL alum Greg Olsen two weeks ago at Vanderbilt University to improve their on-field skills as well as build the position’s community.

“It’s kind of taken on a life of its own which is really fun,” Kittle told NBC Sports Bay Area. “It started off as ‘let’s get 15-20 guys,’ which ended up being 50 at a high school. Now we are at Vanderbilt University, still in Nashville. 70-80 guys the last three years it’s been awesome.”

49ers alumni Charlie Woerner and Ross Dwelley who both now are with the Atlanta Falcons joined the mix alongside some of San Francisco's current tight ends — Logan Thomas, Eric Saubert and rookie Mason Pline.

“I think you can gain so much knowledge, even if it’s the little bits and pieces from every guy who has something to say,” Woerner told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Whether it’s George, Trav or Greg saying something, I pick up something every year, but I think everyone loves to come for the camaraderie and to hang out.

“Tight end is such a huge position and we are all such similar guys. It’s fun to hang out with your peers, your coworkers so it’s the best part about being here.”

On the first day, after checking in at the Thompson Hotel, players and their significant others were greeted with a gifting lounge as well as a wellness center arranged by Leigh Taylor Public Relations who also has been working as a stylist for the couple.

Participants received clothing from Levi’s and workout wear from Chubbies, cowboy boots from Justin Boots and Fleastyle cowboy hats to get them into the Nashville mood. In order to transport all of their new gear, including a speaker system from Turtlebox, back home, BÉIS provided new luggage.

The wellness center included complementary acupuncture and massage, IVs from Get Well Health, facials by Chloé Aesthetics, cosmetic services from Indie RX and skin care products from Epicutis.

With temperatures in the 90s, there was a wait for the hydrating IVs where entertainment was provided by an HD Golf simulator where the tight ends could practice their golf swings.

The event has grown exponentially since its debut four years ago and now includes not only a welcome party the day of check-in, but a fundraising concert following the first day of field work at Vanderbilt University and a pool party to close out the event.

“Put on a country show which was awesome,” Kittle said. “John Party, Jelly Roll, Chase Rice. What an event. I think the people really had a great time and any time you get all the boys together, it’s hard to beat that.”

Even though Dwelley no longer is on the 49ers' roster, the Atlanta Falcon always will make time for Kittle, who has the goal of making the tight end position more prominent for football fans.

“I came in with George when he was going into his second year and he just had the mindset that he wanted to make the tight end position something more mainstream,” Dwelley said. “In the past, the position can kind of get forgotten about a little bit with all of the other bigger positions.

“That’s a really cool quality about George, just his love and passion for the tight end position. Obviously, he and Greg and Travis are the main reason this is even happening right now. It is pretty cool to go with him on this journey and see what it’s all turned into.”

At this rate, the fifth annual TEU definitely will not be one to miss.

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