More Gore in store

Almost two years removed from the second of two devastating, season-ending knee injuries, Frank Gore is ready to roll as prepares to make his debut with the 49ers at the team's three-day minicamp that begins Friday. Here, the Niners' third-round draft pick talks about bouncing back from those injuries, what he can bring to the 49ers, and the family matters that convinced him to leave the University of Miami after his junior season.

Q: After all the adversity that you've faced in recent years, did you ever think you would get here in the NFL with the 49ers?

Gore: I always thought I would, but I knew I had to fight a little harder to get there. I am just happy that God blessed me with this opportunity to realize my childhood dream come true.

Q: How do you compare the player you are today with the one you were before all the problems with your knees?

Gore: I feel that it did hurt me a bit, what did hurt was not being able to do things in practice to get back in shape before the season because I was still rehabbing. That is the only way it hurts me. I had gained a lot of weight and now I feel so much better because I have lost a lot of weight, about 25 pounds, got back down to my fighting weight. Now I am ready to go.

Q: Frank, What do you know about the running game here in San Francisco?

Gore: I doubt no man; I will respect them and learn from them. But I am also coming in to compete and make a run for the starting position.

Q: Do you think the competition that you faced in Miami sort of gets you ready to compete at the NFL level?

Gore: Miami is like a smaller NFL team. When I came out of high school it was me, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and (Najeh) Davenport, a lot of people always doubted me and asked why I came to Miami, if I wanted to be the star back? But I am a competitive guy, I always feel that whenever someone does something good, I try to come back and do something better. I know Kevan Barlow, he is a pretty good back, but I am going to come in and try to play right off the back.

Q: Do you feel that you're just as good now as you were before the injuries?

Gore: I feel good. San Francisco, they wouldn't have picked me if they wouldn't have felt that, from my workout on my Pro Day, I would be able to come in and be able to compete. What hurt me was that I was so heavy last year, I didn't look as quick as I was before I had my knee injuries. I worked hard to get in the situation where I am now. Whenever I got to camp I will try my best to impress my coaches and also my teammates.

Q: How motivated are you going to be to disprove you doubters and show the 49ers how smart they are to take this chance on you?

Gore: Yeah, I am going to try my best, I am happy for the fact that they would look at me and pick me at that spot, even though I had the knee injuries. That showed me how much they know and respect me as a player and as a guy. Giving me the opportunity to come in and compete for the job.

Q: Apparently, you got a good report to Mike Nolan from Antrel Rolle. Was he one of the guys that you hung out with at Miami?

Gore: Yeah, me and Antrel came in together as freshmen. I felt that I could be the guy as a freshman but I had to respect Clinton Portis who was handling the business.

Q: Can you talk about your family situation, is that reason you came out when you did instead of returning to Miami for your senior season?

Gore: My mom is in dialysis, she goes to dialysis three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I like to see my mom at night time going to support her, you know, the day before she goes to dialysis she has to sit up at nights. You know, she has all this stuff in her and it makes it hard for her to breathe. That kind of thing scares you. I have a three-year-old son and I just felt that it was my time to go out, it was never about the fact that I thought I would get hurt again, because if I felt like that I would have never thought about going into the NFL where they have bigger and faster guys; it would have been stupid of me.

Q: Is your mom waiting for a kidney transplant?

Gore: Yes, she is, whenever we find one, I am going to try my best to try to help her get it.

Q: Is there any concern on your part being all the way across the country from your family?

Gore: I love the game. Whoever would have picked me, I would have been happy and ready to go. I am just proud that San Francisco gave me the chance to reach my childhood dream. I am just ready to go; I am fired up and can't wait for camp. I am just ready to get back in gear and show my new teammates and coaches that they picked the right guy.

Q: Prior to returning from your second knee injury, just how devastating was that, and did you kind of have to reevaluate you goals, and what did that do to your mindset, and how did you adjust to things while coming back?

Gore: It was very tough. I know how much I love the game and I really wanted to keep playing the game. I had to keep a positive head on my shoulders. I had to just fight through it and try my best to get back to the best playing ability that I can. I felt that I did a great job to help my team and to come back from two knee injuries and play the first game nine months out of surgery. I am just blessed by God to be given the opportunity to play the game I love.

Q: Did you gain the extra weight because you couldn't do much with the knee injury?

Gore: I couldn't really train, like I said, in the Florida State game I was nine months out of surgery. And from an ACL surgery, that is not very long to play a whole game in a full-contact sport. I set a goal during the summertime, a lot of people said that I wasn't going to be able to play because I was only eight or nine months out of surgery, but I set a goal to prove people wrong and I did it. I played a whole year and San Francisco saw something that they really liked. They knew I was on my up, being my second year out of surgery, and they are going to get the old Frank Gore back.

Q: Is the old Frank Gore back already, or is it going to take a little more time?

Gore: I feel very good. I had a good workout for the team and I am just real happy right now. I am ready to go.

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