April 17, 2024

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What 49ers QB Brock Purdy showed Iowa State cornerback TJ Tampa in college – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

What 49ers QB Brock Purdy showed Iowa State cornerback TJ Tampa in college – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

INDIANAPOLIS — TJ Tampa was a two-way Florida high school standout before accepting an offer to play collegiately at Iowa State.

But instead of catching passes from Brock Purdy in his first two college seasons, Tampa was moved exclusively to cornerback upon his arrival in Ames, Iowa.

When asked if he would relish the opportunity to catch passes from Purdy, he replied: “Oh, yeah, of course.”

But things have certainly turned out well for Tampa, who is attending the NFL Scouting Combine as a cornerback and could hear his name called in the first round of the draft.

Tampa said he doesn't remember if he intercepted a Purdy pass in practice while trying to work his way into a role in the Cyclones' defense early in his college career. But he remembers having to be consistent in coverage against Purdy's shooting.

“He's a very accurate quarterback,” Tampa said of Purdy. “He was good at looking at databases.”

Before Purdy emerged as a player who finished fourth in NFL Most Valuable Player voting, he was a mostly unheralded prospect selected by the 49ers with No. 262 and the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Purdy was a four-year starter at Iowa State, where he was never overlooked or underrated.

“It's great to see him do what he does at the NFL level, knowing he always wants to stand for something,” Tampa said. “And he's still doing it at the highest level, which is great for him.

“I feel like at Iowa State, they're always watching him there all the time. He probably doesn't get as much exposure as the bigger schools get.”

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Purdy had an exceptional first full season as the 49ers' starter in 2023, leading the 49ers to Super Bowl LVIII. He set a franchise record with 4,280 yards in 16 games while leading the NFL in passer rating (113.0) and yards per pass attempt (9.6).

After Purdy's departure from Iowa State, Tampa became one of the best players in the program. During his final two years in college, Tampa started 24 games, had three interceptions, 16 pass breakups and eight tackles for loss.

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