Ken Simonton to the 49ers

Former Oregon State running back Ken Simonton will be signed as a free agent by the San Francisco 49ers. He is from nearby Pittsburgh, California, and is expected to compete for kick return duties, and a possible spot as a third down back.

Simonton came to Oregon State in 1997, being recruited by then Head Coach Mike Riley. He was not highly recruited by other Pac-10 schools due to his lack of size. But over his four seasons at Oregon State, he became the first back to rush for 1000 yards in his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons. He leaves the Beavers as the second leading rusher in Pac-10 history and holding almost every Oregon State rushing record, including the record for all-time yards rushing and the record for all-time points scored. He is also the fourth leading scorer in Pac-10 history, and the eighth leading scorer in NCAA history.

Simonton broke all sorts of records in his time at OSU, but perhaps his most impressive task was leading the Beavers from their 28th consecutive losing season his freshman year to 11-1 his junior season capped with a Fiesta Bowl romp over Notre Dame. The 2000 year was the best ever in the history of Oregon State football.

It has been questioned whether Simonton has the ability to make it at the next level. Riley said it best by saying that no one thought Simonton would make it in the NCAA, but Simonton proved his critics wrong. Riley went on to add that there is no reason he won't prove everyone wrong again at the next level.

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