Each week, I get to sit down with different 49ers players and alumni for the team’s only player-focused podcast, discussing the upcoming game week and leading players through fan-submitted questions about football, life and everything in between. Wide receivers Jauan Jennings and Brandon Aiyuk joined the 49ers You’ve Got Mail podcast presented by Manscaped while practicing in West Virginia and answered some fan-submitted questions.
Here are five things we learned about Jennings and Aiyuk:
Aiyuk and Jennings have been a part of the West Virginia trip twice before and shared some opinions on the unique hotel stay while on the East Coast.
Jennings: “Walking into the building, I’m so used to seeing people right there, ready to swab your nose. Now, it’s just back to the normal way of life. It’s cool. I like it. It’s just like walking into an old museum or something.”
Aiyuk: “It’s like when you walk into granny’s house, and she has the plastic on the couch and roses on the wallpaper.”
Aiyuk and Jennings weren’t always wide receivers. The duo shared a little about how they changed positions during their football careers.
Jennings: “I was a quarterback at one point. They thought I was going to be Lamar Jackson, but I am not. Quarterback was fun, but I like the new challenges that come with being a wide receiver and the new relationships that I’ve built. I’ve come a long way, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Aiyuk: “Growing up, my first position was running back. I was really short my whole life. When I first started playing football, I was smaller than everybody. I was fast though, so that was really the only position that I could play. That was the position that I wanted to play. I liked LaDainian Tomlinson, so I was No. 21, just a little dude running around, playing running back.”
Off the field, the wide receivers room has a wide variety of personalities. Here’s the breakdown of the position group according to Aiyuk and Jennings:
Jennings: “I’m always up. When I wake up, I get moving. I just like to keep the energy level up. I don’t always have to be so loud, but I do like music, so I am always thinking about lyrics. It could be a random song from eight years ago. It just keeps me going, and then we go into meetings, and you focus there.”
Aiyuk: “When you talk about everybody in the room, ‘balance’ is the perfect word. I feel like everybody balances each other out. There are a whole bunch of different personalities. I’m chill. I’m a little bit reserved, but I like to have fun and vibe with the guys too. We’ve got Jauan, he always vibing. He’s going to pick you up. Deebo Samuel has energy. Ray-Ray McCloud III is a character, he’s a funny dude. The young guys, they’re starting to come out. You start to see what type of people they are. We just have a room with a bunch of guys that enjoy being around each other and have fun together.”
Aiyuk and Jennings had some great advice for a young fan out of Seattle looking to get an allowance raise. This is how the duo has handled a similar situation in the past:
Aiyuk: “I didn’t get allowance, but I would get lunch money. My parents would give me $5, I would get $25 dollars for the week. So pretty much, it was $5 a day. In California, you’re not getting any lunch for $5 a day. So I went to my parents, and just asked. I would come home and act like I’m starving every single day. Five dollars was not cutting it for me, so I need at least $7 to $8 a day. I said $9 because I knew I wanted $7 to $8.”
Jennings: “I would definitely use grades. If I’m a kid, back in the day, ‘Momma, look, As and Bs, let’s go! I need some bread.'”
Handshakes are a really cool component of the friendships that develop in the locker room. Jennings and Aiyuk shared some insight on how these special handshakes are created and shared theirs on-camera.
Aiyuk: “We’ll just be playing around, messing around. We’ll just be out there, at practice during a defensive period, and we’ll just be messing around getting ready for handshakes, getting ready for touchdown celebrations.”
Jennings: “It’s usually BA or Deebo coming up with them. I like Ray-Ray’s and Deebo’s (handshake) too. They do a little something before the game.”