Jim Harbaugh once spoke about wanting to have his former Stanford FB Owen Marecic on the 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft. On Tuesday afternoon, this became a reality as the 49ers announced they signed Marecic to a one year contract.
Marecic takes Ian Williams spot on the roster as the starting NT was placed on the injured reserve with a broken ankle injury. Williams had surgery on Monday after being blocked below the waist by Seahawks OL J.R. Sweezy in Sunday's game. Glenn Dorsey becomes the starting NT with Demarcus Dobbs as a reserve behind him. Harbaugh indicate that it's possible for the 49ers to add another defensive lineman, saying the position is being evaluated.
The 49ers currently have NT Mike Purcell on the practice squad and rookie DT Quinton Dial is eligible to return from the non-football-injury list in Week 6.
Marecic was a fourth-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2011. When playing under Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at Stanford, he was primarily a FB, but could also a linebacker. He worked out for the 49ers last month as Harbaugh initially declined to talk about him unless he was a member of the team.
Expectations for the third-year fullback are that he can be a special teams contributor and serve as a backup FB behind Bruce Miller. He could continue the trend of two-way players where Demarcus Dobbs and waived/injure Will Tukuafu have seen time on offense and defense in the past.