Super Bowl 2020: Get to know 49ers' Kyle Juszczyk; first fullback to score a Super Bowl TD in 17 years
Juszczyk is the first fullback in 17 years to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl
Thirty years ago, 49ers fullback Tom Rathman scored two touchdowns in San Francisco's 55-10 rout of the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV. On Sunday, the 49ers' current fullback, Kyle Juszczyk (who, like Rathman, wears No. 44) mimicked Rathman's Super Bowl theatrics by catching a touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo during the second quarter of Super Bowl LIV.
Juszczyk, NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, made a bit of history during his 15-yard touchdown catch that tied the score. It was the first Super Bowl TD by a player who attended Harvard. It was also the first touchdown scored by a fullback in the Super Bowl since Mike Alstott's 2-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of the Buccaneers' 48-21 win over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.in 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's offensive system, as detailed by CBS Sports
A Medina, Ohio, native, Juszczyk played tight end during his college days at Harvard, and he was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection in 2012, his final college season. While he was not invited to the 2013 NFL Combine, Juszczyk did all the required drills and position workouts during Harvard's pro day, recording a 4.71 40 time along with a 37-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-1 broad jump. He also bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times.
Juszczyk's success at Harvard, coupled with his performance at Harvard's pro day, led to him being the Ravens' fourth-round pick (and the 130th overall pick) in the 2013 draft. After serving as Vonta Leach's backup as a rookie, Juszczyk was promoted to starter after the Ravens released Leach during the 2014 offseason. Juszczyk started in 25 games over the next two seasons before earning his first of four consecutive Pro Bowl selections in 2016.
As a free agent during the 2017 offseason, Juszczyk received interest from the Eagles, Bills, Browns and 49ers before signing a four-year $21 million contract with the 49ers. During his time with the 49ers, Juszczyk has caught 83 passes for 878 yards and three touchdowns in 42 regular-season games. He has also served as a valuable piece of the 49ers' rushing attack, as Juszczyk's blocking helped the 49ers finish second to the Ravens in rushing yards during the regular season.
While he is seldom the featured target in San Francisco's offense, Juszczyk is just happy to contribute to such a dynamic offense, an offense that did feature his talents during the first half of Super Bowl LIV.
"That was a huge selling point for me going out to San Francisco," Juszczyk told La Canfora, "seeing what Kyle had done previously in his offense with guys like Patrick DiMarco in the Super Bowl year (with the Falcons in 2016). And I knew that I could do even a little bit more than that. I was excited about all the ways he would use me and I'm really happy with the way everything has worked out the last three seasons. And I couldn't be happier with my role, and to be centerpiece of the dominant offense we have, it really means a lot."
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