Small world: Pierre-Paul, Leavitt visit 49ers
Caught up with former USF coach Jim Leavitt on Wednesday afternoon after reading a note that he was a visitor at Cal's football practice on Tuesday. Leavitt has been busy this spring, making the rounds of college programs and NFL teams as he works to get back into football this fall.
Leavitt watched an OTA on Wednesday with the 49ers, getting to meet with head coach Mike Singletary, and by coincidence, he said he ran into USF defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who was visiting San Francisco, barely a week before the NFL draft.
San Francisco has two first-round picks, right in the heart of where pundits are picking Pierre-Paul to be drafted -- the 49ers have the 13th and 17th picks, with many experts lining them up with Florida cornerback Joe Haden for their first selection. Could they be a match for Pierre-Paul on Thursday night?
Leavitt said he enjoyed talking with Cal coach Jeff Tedford, and was appreciative that the 49ers let him watch their practices and how they go through workouts. Leavitt said he hasn't seen spring practice at another college program because he was always busy running USF's drills -- he expected to meet up with Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh as part of his California trip later in the week.
-- One more note -- Marvin Kloss, the Naples high school kicker who had accepted an offer to be a preferred walk-on at USF this fall, has had a felony grand theft charge reduced to a misdemeanor count of petit theft, according to his attorney, Kristen Rodger. The lesser charge for a first-time offender can typically be dismissed after completion of a pre-trial intervention program, which usually requires only community service, a short probationary period and payment of court costs. Skip Holtz hasn't set a policy for how he'll tolerate recruits or players getting arrested, but logic says the lesser charge helps his chances of being able to play for the Bulls this fall. USF officials can't comment on Kloss (or any unsigned recruitable athlete) until he's on campus.
-- The Papajohns.com Bowl will be played on Jan. 8, 2011, ESPN Regional announced Thursday. The game has run through the full bowl calendar, from its pre-Christmas roots in 2006-07 to a late December date in 2008, a Jan. 2 slot in 2009 and now this, which is actually two days before the national title game, scheduled for Jan. 10. The Big East is 4-0 in the Birmingham bowl's history and will likely face a team from the Southeastern Conference again in this season's game.