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Jeremy McNichols: San Francisco 49ers sign RB to practice squad

By Alex Butler
Jeremy McNichols: San Francisco 49ers sign RB to practice squad
Former Boise State Broncos running back Jeremy McNichols (R) is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad. File photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Running back Jeremy McNichols is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad.

San Francisco announced the signing on Monday.

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McNichols, 21, was originally selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had 571 carries for 3,205 yards and 44 touchdowns on the ground and 103 catches for 1,089 yards and 11 scores through the air in 34 games for Boise State University. The 5-foot-9, 214-pound ball carrier was waived on Saturday by the Buccaneers.

San Francisco ranked No. 4 in rushing last season among NFL teams. The 49ers also signed wide receiver DeAndre Carter, offensive lineman JP Flynn, tight end Cole Hikutini, cornerback Asa Jackson, quarterback Nick Mullens, defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu, wide receiver DeAndre Smelter and offensive lineman Darrell Williams Jr. to their practice squad on Sunday. San Francisco also claimed defensive lineman Xavier Cooper off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns and placed defensive lineman Ronald Blair III on injured reserve.

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McNichols had 24 carries for 79 yards this preseason.

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"It was great for him to get 10 carries," Buccaneers coach Drik Koetter told reporters after the team's final preseason game last week.

"We were carrying seven halfbacks for most of camp, so to get 10 in a game [is helpful.] I thought Peyton [Barber] started out strong, and it was good to see Jeremy get his 10 and he also got some time on special teams. We got to see him more in protection. I feel like last night was a great opportunity to get a true evaluation of where Jeremy is right now."

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After his third preseason game, Koetter was harsh in his judgment.

"He's doing fine on special teams," Koetter said of the rookie. "He's just making too many mistakes on offense. He had a protection error that led to a sack so I took him out at that point. That was my decision. He's going to play a lot on Thursday night and he's going to get one final chance to show what he can do."

McNichols told ESPN that he was humbled this preseason.

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"This was a really humbling experience coming in, to be honest," McNichols told ESPN. "I really had to dig deep to find who I really am and who I really want to be as a football player."

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The 49ers currently have Carlos Hyde topping their depth chart at the position. The team put Joe Williams on injured reserve with an ankle injury and cut veteran Tim Hightower. Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert remain on the roster.

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