Ricky Pearsall

Pearsall breaks down viral one-handed catch he made at Florida

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When a wide receiver makes a jaw-dropping, highlight-reel catch, oftentimes it's the product of natural athleticism, improvision ... and maybe a little bit of luck.

Not for new 49ers wide receiver and first-round NFL draft pick Ricky Pearsall, who quite literally practiced making circus catches at Florida.

Pearsall joined NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan on the latest episode of the "49ers Talk" podcast, where he broke down an acrobatic, one-handed catch he made between two defenders in a game against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last season.

"This might sound crazy, but yes, we actually do practice that," Pearsall told Maiocco and Chan. "Coach [Billy Gonzales] over at Florida, when it's kickoff he'll have the receivers come indoors and we'll practice just crazy catches. So obviously props to him because he put me in a situation where it was exactly like that.

"Then just going out there and making the play. It wasn't something I thought about before the play, 'I'm going to go over here and catch it one-handed,' but something just came within me where I was like 'OK I'm going one hand on this one' and I came down with it."

Pearsall somehow came down with the catch and held onto it while immediately getting crushed by two defenders. He got up right away and didn't appear fazed one bit.

"No, not really," Pearsall said when asked if he recognized in the moment how hard he was hit. "I just stood up, my dad actually was in the fourth row on the [50-yard line] and it was the first time I've got him tickets that close and so I got up and I was staring right at him and he was going crazy. So it was a really good moment."

Talk about putting on a show.

While the 49ers and quarterback Brock Purdy hope to not put Pearsall in many of those dangerous catch situations in the NFL, it must be reassuring to his new team that the rookie is capable of making such incredible catches.

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