Malik Mustapha

How ‘Madden' made draft pick Malik Mustapha a 49ers fan

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There are a million ways to become a part of the 49ers Faithful – and "Madden" definitely is one of them. 

During the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Wake Forest safety Malik Mustapha officially became a 49er after being selected with the No. 124 overall pick

Ironically, Mustapha, thanks to the popular NFL video game, already was a lifelong 49ers fan after continuous efforts to dismay a household full of Cowboys fans during "Madden" games.

In an interview with 49ers team reporter Lindsey Pallares, the rookie shared how his fandom for San Francisco and a particular franchise legend came to be.

"My family grew up being Cowboys fans," Mustapha said. "Sometimes I like being on the opposite side. 

“Playing Madden at a young age, I loved using Frank Gore during that time... I just grew up loving the 49ers and what they brought to the table. It just stuck with me."

The Cowboys love in the Mustapha family runs so deep that even the safety’s mom’s congratulatory post on X (formerly known as Twitter) had hints of “America’s team” all over, even though it also had her confessing her newfound love for the Red and Gold. 

Throughout the safety’s draft process, the 49ers were the only team to request a face-to-face meeting with Mustapha. 

And in that meeting with his childhood team, the 21-year-old was able to cross paths with not only the 49ers’ brass but with his favorite NFL player.

"It was awesome being able to meet, John Lynch, obviously, and the whole staff,” Mustapha added. “Even Frank Gore was in there. He's someone that I grew up watching and it was kind of a starstruck moment. 

“But it was definitely a good meeting with them, I talked about my life and things like that. And throughout the process too, I talked to scouts post-combine."

Now, with his childhood dreams taken care of, it’s time for Mustapha to showcase his love for the 49ers on the field. 

"I'm just blessed that it came full circle for me,” Mustapha said. “I'm so honored to be here and I'm ready to get to work."

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