George Kittle

Why Kittle had toilet paper up his nose at 2017 NFL Scouting Combine

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The guy’s tough as nails. 

George Kittle impressed scouts during the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine when the then-soon-to-be 49ers tight end persevered through a bloody accident. 

In a resurfacing episode of NFL Films’ “A Football Life," released in November, Kittle explained his eerie start to a vital performance. 

“[I] was definitely stressed out,” Kittle told NFL Films. “My eyes were super dry. [My] nose was dry. And we do this run-blocking drill where another tight end is holding the pad. I fired off and hit it, and the bottom of the pad just comes up and smokes me in the nose, which it didn’t hurt, but it hits. Instantly, a faucet starts coming out of my nose.

“Finally, they came back with a roll of toilet paper and handed it to me, and I was just shoving toilet paper up my nose for the next two hours while I tested -- it was awesome.”

During the combine’s broadcast, then-NFL Network draft analyst Rich Eisen said, “Looks like Kittle took a header somewhere. What a way to keep his nose from bleeding.”

Kittle, understandably so, was shaken up by the incident. He would finish as the ninth-best tight end at the combine with the 16th-best production score (69), the fifth-best athleticism score (87) and a total score of 75.

However, his 4.52-second 40-yard dash caught the attention of league scouts.

The prospect rose on 2017 NFL Draft boards because of his athleticism, but his impressive workouts with Iowa teammates like quarterback C.J. Beathard stood above all.

In particular, Beathard held a workout with then-49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello when a sleepy Kittle -- after a late night on the town -- opposed participating. 

“[I] called George probably days in advance with, ‘Hey, dude, I got a workout with the 49ers,' ” Beathard told NFL Films. “Their quarterback coach is coming to work me out.” 

To which Kittle recalled, “I had like three workouts that week. And I told CJ, ‘I’m not going to throw for you guys. You’re good, I have other guys… I stayed out late. And the morning of, he’s calling me and wakes me up, he goes, ‘Hey, these guys bailed on me -- they can’t make it. I was like, ‘I don’t know, man. I don’t think I want to put this version of myself in front of any coaches.’ And he goes, ‘I need you.’ I was like, ‘OK.’

“It was so much fun… and literally the next day I was on a flight to visit the 49ers, probably because of that workout.”

Kittle and Beathard were drafted by San Francisco some weeks later, putting a bow on their terrific Iowa careers with a classic story to share for ages.

But the tight end first caught eyes after suffering a bloody nose during a drill against a pad.

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