Sports

49ers pluck Samford safety Tartt in second round

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Samford's Jaquiski Tartt became the first FCS player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft when the San Francisco 49ers took the strong safety in the second round with the 46th overall pick Friday night.

The 6-foot-1, 221-pound Tartt was the highest drafted player from Samford and the sixth in program history.

"I see myself playing special teams first, and making my name on special teams first, learning behind Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid," Tartt said.

Tartt already has a close friend in the 49ers' secondary. He is reuniting with Jimmie Ward, a former high school teammate who was the NFC West team's first- round pick last year.

Tartt was a three-time nominee and two-time finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the FCS defensive player of the year. While playing with an athletic, physical style in both pass coverage and run support, he tallied 277 tackles, including 199 solo stops, 6.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions and 20 pass breakups in his Samford career.

He was the first Samford player to participate in the Senior Bowl and was a standout during practices for the all-star classic, played in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.

"Tartt showed up at the Senior Bowl with an attitude," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "He is a big-bodied thumper, and more athletic than given credit for."

Tartt and Ward were teammates at Davidson High School in Mobile.