The 49ers Secret Weapon in Super Bowl LIV?

The San Francisco 49ers are in the Super Bowl, in large part to the best fullback in the NFL, Kyle Juszczyk. Juszczyk, who grew up in Medina, Ohio, just 45 minutes out of downtown Cleveland, attended Cloverleaf High School in Lodi, Ohio.

Juszczyk was a great student at Cloverleaf, he had a 4.2 GPA and scored a 30 on the ACT. He lettered in three sports at Cloverleaf but, “…realized there’s a lot more than just the next four years ahead of me,” said Juszczyk to the Columbus Dispatch in 2009. As a result, despite offers from many top football schools, Juszczyk decided to commit to Harvard.

He majored in Economics and played tight end for the Crimson. He was a two-time All-American and holds the Harvard Tight End record for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Harvard enjoyed great success in this time, going 31-9 over Juszczyk’s four years and winning the 2011 Ivy League Title.

Juszczyk was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He signed a four-year, 2.46 million dollar deal. In Juszczyk‘s first season, he was the backup fullback to Vonta Leach and was mainly used on special teams, but he became the starter for the 2014 season. His “coming out party” came against the Browns, where he caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. As a result of his season, he was named a Pro Bowl alternate. In 2015, Juszczyk caught 42 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns. The Ravens struggled but all of those stats were career-highs for Juszczyk. In 2016, his first contact year, Juszczyk led fullbacks in snaps and scored his first career rushing touchdown on Christmas. For the first time in Juszczyk’s career, he was named as a Pro Bowl starter.  He was also ranked as the top fullback according to Pro Football Focus.

Juszczyk entered free agency and there was interest from many teams such as the Browns, Eagles, Bills and 49ers. Despite the Eagles and Bills being the favorite to land Juszczyk, the 49ers signed Juszczyk to a four-year, 21 million dollar deal (seven) million of which was guaranteed. This was the largest contact ever for fullback. Juszczyk produced a sold season with over 300 yards receiving for the 49ers and as a result was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. In his second season in San Francisco, Juszczyk struggled with holding on the football, fumbling twice. However, he also set a career-high in receiving yards and had a 56-yard reception. He was named to his third-consecutive Pro Bowl. He also rushed for his second highest total of rushing yards in a season. In 2019, Juszczyk was injured during the 49ers game against the Browns. As a result, he missed four games. His numbers were down, but when he was on the field, he was a huge part of the 49ers rushing attack. He was named to his 4th consecutive Pro Bowl, but he did not attend as the 49ers are in the Super Bowl.

He has become a household name and for good reason. If the 49ers are able to win the Super Bowl, Juszczyk will certainly be a huge part of it. He is in a contract year and he will stay as the richest fullback and will earn himself a raise.

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