About a year ago at this time, Trey Lance reached a milestone in a remarkable journey.
As a high school football recruit coming out of Marshall, Minn., Lance drew interest from schools — but mostly as something other than a quarterback.
FCS powerhouse North Dakota State wanted him as a QB. Fast-forward four years from that point, to last April 29, when the 49ers made Lance the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft — as a quarterback, of course.
I asked Lance on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast if he thinks he might be recruited differently now than he was five years ago.
"I guess we'll never know. I would hope so, and I think that maybe more kids in my position should ... but there was probably more to it than the way I played the game," Lance said. "I went to a small (high) school. The number of games played, number of passes thrown, little things like that I'm sure had a huge impact. ... But honestly I don't think about it a whole lot anymore. I just believe everything works out exactly how it's supposed to."
It's hard to argue with that outlook on life, particularly when it yields the life Lance has carved out so far.
Lance is thought of as part of the next wave of star young quarterbacks in the NFL — equally adept at using his arm or legs to beat defenses.
He was included with the likes of Joe Burrow and other young QBs in a CashApp competition during which he earned $740,000 worth of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin for Big Buddies of Southwest Minnesota.
"Me knowing how important mentors have been in my life, I just believe how big a difference that makes in people's lives," Lance said of choosing an organization to receive the money.
Though he did not want to get into particulars of the 49ers QB competition in 2022, reports suggest Lance is slated to be San Francisco's starter. Common sense would say that as well given the constant trade chatter surrounding incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo, how high Lance was picked and positive momentum from two starts during his rookie season.
"As a rookie you take it all in. That was my mantra going into the year and throughout the year," he said. "Whatever it is throughout the season you just continue to learn. I was blessed and thankful to be on a great team and in a great situation."