Undrafted FAs sign with Niners

SFI has learned that the 49ers have signed undrafted free agents Ken Simonton of Oregon State, Frank Strong of USC, Matt Stanley of UCLA and Mike Hart of Duke to contracts, though the team has not yet announced those signings.

 It's the 49ers policy not to release names until contracts are signed and returned, but sources confirmed Tuesday that Simonton, Strong, Stanley and Hart all have signed with the Niners. The team announced two signings Tuesday - Menlo College receiver Nate Jackson and Stanford tackle Austin Lee, who will be converted from defensive end.

 Wide receivers Donnie O'Neal of Arizona State, Brian Haugabrook of Florida and Scott Lipford of Rowan and defensive tackle Darryl Sanders of Virginia also have signed contracts with the Niners and will join the team for its first minicamp practice on Friday.

 Simonton, the No. 2 rusher in Pac-10 history with 5,044 yards and Oregon State's all-time leading scorer (366 points), will have a legitimate chance to contribute immediately as a kick returner. Hart, a two-time team MVP at Duke, will challenge sixth-round draft pick Mark Anelli for the No. 3 tight end roster spot this season. Hart (6-foot-6, 260) was an honorable mention All-America pick this year and a two-time All-Atlanta Coast Conference selection.

 Strong is a linebacker who also played running back and safety at USC. Stanley played fullback at UCLA, while Jackson is a small-school prospect with excellent size (6-3, 217) who had 261 receptions for 3,976 yards and 43 touchdowns at the Division III level.

 The Niners, who signed 42 undrafted free agents last year, are expected to sign between 12 to 15 this year.


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