Raheem Mostert has become a superstar after his scintillating performance in the NFC Championship Game this past Sunday. The trip to stardom hasn’t been an overnight trip. It’s been fraught with challenges and disappointment. However, he now finds himself heading to the Super Bowl as the feature back for the 49ers. As a surfer, he’s used to riding waves, his NFL career has been no different.
“I never gave up on my dream.” ~ Raheem Mostert after NFC Championship
Raheem Mostert knows where he’s been and reminds himself of it frequently. He has a list, complete with dates on his phone when previous NFL teams cut him. The list isn’t short. Six teams have cut him during his NFL career. Six. He has found a home with the 49ers and has become their star on offense.
Sunday Mostert ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries. Tevin Coleman separated his shoulder, which led to Mostert getting the lion’s share of the work on Sunday and he sliced and diced his way through the Green Bay defense like well, a hot knife through cream cheese. He put the team on his back and led them to the Super Bowl.
“It’s just so fun to see Mostert do something like that. Just such a special player and he finally gets to show it.” ~ George Kittle
The most amazing aspect of Mostert’s journey is he was cut by six different teams without recording a single NFL carry. He had some time in Baltimore that overlapped with Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Kyle saw Mostert as a beast on special teams and thought he could grow into a bigger role on the 49ers. So when Juszczyk signed with the 49ers, he put Mostert on their radar.
For fans of the 49ers, you can breathe a sigh of relief that Mostert doesn’t become a free agent until 2022. He signed a three year deal with the 49ers during the offseason and will continue to get his share of the load in a crowded 49ers backfield. The 49ers have Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, Jeff Wilson Jr, and an injured Jerick McKinnon who should be back next season. Something has to give, and you’d have to think Breida or McKinnon could be the odd man out.
“It brings me back to being a kid and enjoying life.” ~ Raheem Mostert on TD surfing celebration.
We were almost robbed of seeing Mostert’s amazing journey as he nearly opted for another professional sport. Mostert wanted to be a professional surfer. When he was fourteen years old, he was offered a surfing sponsorship contract to turn pro through Billabong. He grew up in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and surfing was his passion. He surfed with sharks and still considers keeping the oceans clean a passion. During this year’s NFL “My Cleats, My Cause” campaign Mostert selected Ocean Conservancy and wore cleats with sharks and waves on them.
Raheem Mostert will likely be asked to shoulder a heavy load at Super Bowl LIV on February 2nd as well. It is currently not known whether Tevin Coleman will be able to return from his shoulder injury. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will likely need to throw it more than the eight times he did against the Packers as well. I believe we can also expect Deebo Samuel to get some carries on the jet sweep. It will hopefully be yet another date Raheem Mostert adds to his list.
Mostert likes to revisit dates when he was cut to keep him grounded. He should consider replacing those with January 19th, 2020, the day he reached for the sky.
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