MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings are hosting the San Francisco 49ers for joint practices at TCO Performance Center this week ahead of Saturday night’s preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
It’s a homecoming for Trey Lance. The former Marshall High School football star went onto an outstanding career North Dakota State, leading the Bison to two FCS national titles. He went 17-0 as a starter at North Dakota State, throwing for 2,947 yards, 30 touchdowns and just one interception.
The dual threat quarterback also ran for more than 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns. The 49ers obviously liked what they say, taking him No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
"That was always the dream, but man it happened fast. I’m excited to be here, I’m obviously settled in now. New team, just excited for this season," Lance said after Wednesday’s practice.
He was named the 49ers starter in the offseason and now has the keys to the offense. His biggest highlight Wednesday came on a 65-yard touchdown to Danny Gray, beating Patrick Peterson in coverage.
He started two games and played in six for San Francisco last season as a rookie, and threw for 603 yards, five touchdowns at two interceptions.
He’s learning a lot this week, competing against a secondary that features Peterson and Harrison Smith.
"Just getting to go against another defense, 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s, red zone, everything against another team, it’s fun to practice against and they give a lot of good looks. They’ve got a lot of guys who have played a lot," Lance said.
"I think Trey has consistently gotten better and better every single day. Those small consistent steps in the same direction lead to great results. I’m pretty confident in his ability," tight end George Kittle said.
He admitted he got excited in the offseason when he learned the 49ers would come to Minnesota for joint practices and a preseason game. It’s a homecoming, but it’s mainly a business trip.
The Vikings arranged for buses to bring the Marshall High School football team up to TCO Performance Center to watch Thursday’s practice, and to see their hometown star. Lance paid for the team to have lunch.
"I was excited for sure. Get to see my family, see some friends. But I mean this is work while I’m here. These two days of practice should be awesome for us, and then Saturday," Lance said.
Fans hoping to see Lance play Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium against the Vikings in the preseason might be disappointed. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan won’t feel pressured to play the Minnesota native in his home state.
"Not at all," Shanahan said.