Sakamoto: 49ers Pro Day Standout Bryan Fobbs Journey To NFL Is Not For The Weak


Work ethic. Perseverance. Passionate. These are three words that are most associated when describing Saginaw Valley State WR Bryan Fobbs. A local high school star as Fobbs played for Valley Christian (San Jose), he didn’t take football serious until he enrolled in the prestigious Warriors football program.

“I wasn’t serious about football until my freshman year of high school,” Fobbs said. It was at Valley Christian where I built a strong foundation to becoming the productive receiver I am today.”

During Fobbs senior year, he helped guide the Warriors to an 11-2 record while recording 52 catches for 920 receiving yards (17.7 ypc) and 11 touchdowns. A true student of the game, Fobbs would then redshirt his freshman year as a walk-on at San Jose State University after receiving little to no interest from Division I programs. It was there where Fobbs fine-tuned his fundamentals from WRC Terry Malley.

“I was blessed with the opportunity to be on a Division I team in my hometown. This is where I learned from Coach Malley, who really helped me hone my abilities as well as teach me aspects of the game which I was unaware of,” Fobbs said.

However, the learning experience for Fobbs at San Jose State was short-lived. God had a plan. And his plan led Fobbs 15 minutes down the road, right off the Stevens Creek Boulevard exit.

Through continued dedicated work ethic, Fobbs took it upon himself to reach his full potential at De Anza Community College.

“Whether it was staying after practice to get extra reps with my quarterback or simply working on ladder drills while the second-team was on the field, I took it upon myself to lead by example,” Fobbs said.

And the hard work paid off…

Under the guidance of De Anza coaches Dan Atencio and Tony Santos, Fobbs would finally piece everything together. In his sophomore season, Fobbs went on a tear, racking up 96 catches for 1,507 yards (15.7 ypc) and 20 touchdowns, en route to garnering All-American, First-Team All-State, and Offensive Player of the Year honors.

After his stellar sophomore season, Fobbs was finally getting heavily recruited by Division I schools, including Kansas, Northwestern, and Illinois.

However, due to the NCAA 4-2-4 rule, which requires Fobbs to get his associate degree before enrolling in another Division I program, Fobbs instead opted for Division II Saginaw Valley State. The move allowed him to leave school early while keeping his NFL dreams alive.

The NCAA snag was yet another learning experience for Fobbs. But instead of refuting the minor setback, Fobbs embraced the unfound opportunity. “It was at Saginaw that I learned not only how to deal with adversity, but how to play through it all and still produce on the field,” Fobbs said.

Fast forward to present day and Fobbs is making the most of his limited opportunities.

During the San Francisco 49ers local pro day, I wrote an article on two players who shined. One was 49ers first-round pick (No. 28) OG Joshua Garnett and the other, Fobbs.

During positional drills, Fobbs along with many other wide receivers including WR Devon Cajuste were asked to run complex corner routes, out-routes, digs, quick slants, and double-moves. Fobbs looked like the cream of the crop.

From exploding out of the blocks to locating deep balls downfield, Fobbs was the one receiver who caught my eye.

Now, with NFL teams signing undrafted rookie free-agents, the question remains who will give Fobbs a shot?

At 6-0, 190, Fobbs is the prototype receiver that NFL scouts love. He has the hands, agility, and route running to easily separate from defensive backs. Backed by new agent Flent Coleman of MFG Sports Management, it will be interesting to see where Fobbs ends up, as his storied journey to the NFL is finally coming to fruition.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.