Three months after going undrafted, MarQueis Gray said he’s been moving between different positions at the San Francisco 49ers’ training camp with hopes of making the final squad.
The former Gophers quarterback said most of his reps have come as a tight end — a position many expect is his best chance to make an NFL roster.
Gray signed with the 49ers in late April as an undrafted free agent. He said the 49ers contacted him as the draft was in its final two rounds.
“I got numerous calls after the draft, but they were the team that called first,” said Gray, who played for the Gophers from 2009-12.
Gray said it frustrated him initially to go undrafted, but after he signed with the 49ers, his focus was to prove people wrong and play in the NFL.
“I just had to take that as motivation,” he said, “and know that I have to prepare that much harder to make it.”
His mission officially started about two weeks ago when the 49ers opened training camp. Gray said his performance has improved since then.
He played quarterback for the Gophers and dabbled as a wide receiver in his first two seasons and late in his senior campaign.
Gray never saw time at tight end in college, and he said the position transition has been a work in progress. While Gray has experience at wide receiver, NFL blocking schemes are a little foreign to him.
He said he’s mainly focused on his technique in the first two weeks of training camp.
“It doesn’t really matter how big someone is because it’s all about the technique,” said Gray, who’s listed at 6 feet 4 inches and 250 pounds. “That’s something a lot of those guys have taught me, and I see and learn that more each day I’m on this team.”
Gray, who was adamant he wanted to be an NFL quarterback, said he’ll play any position to get on an NFL roster at this point.
“I have a tight end resume and a quarterback resume now,” he said. “It really doesn’t matter what position I play in the NFL. I’m just trying to make this team and earn a roster spot.”
The 49ers will wrap up camp after this week and make the final cuts to the roster soon after that.
“It’s hard to say where I stand, but all I can do is work hard and learn from this experience and continue to grow as a player,” Gray said. “If I continue to do that, I know I’ll be a part of the 49ers.”