SAN FRANCISCO — The city of San Francisco and newly-minted 49er Head Coach Kyle Shanahan added a trio of speedy and serviceable wide receivers with NFL free agency opened on Thursday.
One name should be familiar to many — if not most — in Waxahachie.
Former Indian Aldrick Robinson, who played in Super Bowl LI with the Atlanta Falcons, signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers worth $6 million over two years according to spotrac.com. He was selected out of Southern Methodist University in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft with the 178th pick by the Washington Redskins.
"We’re pumped to have these guys,” Shanahan said during the Friday press conference. “We want to bring in high character people in this building, which do things the right way and are good football players. [Winning games] is not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it. And bringing in these guys is going to help us do it.”
The 28-year-old Waxahachie speedster, who is entering his fifth season in the league, caught 20 passes for 323 yards (16.2 YPC) and two touchdowns in 16 games last season.
Robinson follows Shanahan, the Falcons' former Falcon offensive coordinator and joins wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin, fullback Kyle Jurszczyk and tight end Logan Paulsen. Quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley also joined San Francisco's 2017 free agency class.
Reports say the new 49ers sideline general was drawn to the trio because they provide veteran leadership who can teach younger teammates the system. Of San Francisco's seven acquisitions during the week one of the free agency period — Robinson, Barkley, Hoyer, Garcon, Goodwin, Jurszczyk and Paulsen — only Barkley and Jurszczyk have no experience in Shanahan's system.
The complex play calls and all the variation can take some time for players to learn, but Robinson, Garcon, Hoyer and Paulsen lending helping hands during OTA’s and minicamp should shorten the learning curve.
Shanahan isn't the only one that's pumped to see Robinson don 49er red, though. The teachers that watched him grow from a boy to a man before their eyes also approve of the change of scenery and extra green lining his pockets.
One woman may be more excited than Robinson himself.
Kim Kriegel, a former WISD faculty members, a three-year member of the WISD Board of Trustees and avid national advocate of educators, taught Robinson when he was a budding teenage superstar talent torturing Ennis High School defensive backfields.
"I told Al Robinson two weeks ago that Shanahan loves him," Kriegel said. "Al just signed a two-year contract with San Francisco. I guess we will find out now how much he loves him. I have loved Al for many years. Waxahachie is so proud of you."
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter at @MarcusMarionWNI.