By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
Former Boise State tailback D.J. Harper has agreed to a free-agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers, he tweeted Monday.
Harper, who played parts of the past six seasons for the Broncos while enduring two serious knee injuries, was not drafted despite attending the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He started last season, rushing for 1,137 yards and 15 touchdowns.
In San Francisco, Harper will join a supremely talented group of tailbacks: starter Frank Gore, former Oregon star LaMichael James, former Oklahoma State star Kendall Hunter and new draftee Marcus Lattimore, the South Carolina standout who may not play this year because of a devastating knee injury sustained last year. Other running backs on the team include Anthony Dixon and Jewel Hampton.
Harper and cornerback Jerrell Gavins (Bucs tryout) are the only former Broncos known to have reached free-agent agreements so far.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan State may have to make some changes to its non-conference schedules because of the Big Ten’s switch to a nine-game conference schedule. The Spartans don’t want to play any non-conference road games in odd years. They are currently scheduled to play at Boise State in 2022, which should work.
Michigan State would have to pay $2 million to get out of the Boise State series, which includes a game in East Lansing in 2023.
Boise State is No. 21 in ESPN’s latest preseason Top 25.