Second-year San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance is mentally and physically preparing for war. During organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camp, we heard from Lance, his coaches, and most importantly, his teammates. The commonality in what they shared about the young quarterback was his confidence and leadership.

How does a young kid who didn’t see much playing time during his rookie season prepare for year two? It’s simply his confidence. Confidence isn’t something you develop overnight. Instead, it’s something that evolves through adversity.

Lance received a Division I scholarship to the University of Minnesota to play linebacker. However, he wanted to play quarterback, so he took his talents to North Dakota State, where he red-shirted his freshman season (2018). That season Lance only played in two games and scored two rushing touchdowns. In 2019, Lance was named the starter and led the Bison to an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Championship. Covid postponed North Dakota State’s 2020 season, and Lance entered the draft in 2021.

Lance was told that he couldn’t play quarterback, and once he was given the opportunity, he did just that at North Dakota State, accomplishing much and achieving several awards.

The 49ers drafted Lance with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. I couldn’t even imagine the weight on Lance’s shoulders when a team already has a successful starting quarterback on the roster (Jimmy Garoppolo), and the team trades away two first-round picks and more to move up to select you. That’s a lot of pressure on a young person.

Lance red-shirted his rookie NFL season. He started two games, went 1-1, threw for 603 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions, and rushed for a touchdown. That sounds similar to his redshirted freshman year at North Dakota State.

With Lance entering his second season, he appears to have the support of his coaches and teammates. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said the young quarterback improved with reps during OTAs and mini-camp. Defensive Coordinator Demeco Ryans also praised Lance.

“Trey has done an outstanding job,” Ryans said. “Each day he has gotten better and better. Defending him has been tough.”

Teammates such as Jimmie Ward, Charvarius Ward, Kyle Juszczyk, and Trent Williams all mentioned how Lance was a “natural leader.”

“He has the qualities to lead, and he has the qualities that people will want to follow him,” team captain Williams said.

Lance’s small body of work makes it challenging to predict what he will do on the football field this season. However, we know how his coaches and teammates feel, and everything on and off the field about Lance is trending upwards.

There’s a storm brewing in The Bay, and I got 5 on it.

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    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for 49erscap.com. His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.