Reports that Nate Davis suffers from a learning disability might have scared away some teams on draft weekend. However, 49ers coach Mike Singletary (via the team’s official Web site) said the Ball State QB’s willingness to talk about what the coach referred to as dyslexia actually was one of the reasons San Francisco took a chance on Davis in the fifth round:
“I was very impressed with his openness,” Singletary said of Davis. “He’s the guy that brought it up. He said, ‘Coach, I’m going to tell you up front. I have a learning disability. I’m dyslexic. That’s one of the things I guess in the upcoming drafts some people have kind of knocked me down a little bit and kind of counting me out. I can learn, will learn, and I just have to get it my way.’”
In a conference call with local media, Davis admitted that he has been diagnosed with a learning disability since the seventh grade, but he denied being dyslexic.
Whatever term is used to refer to Davis’ disability, it ultimately doesn’t appear to be that important to Singletary, who believes the QB possesses first-round talent and a strong arm. Singletary said he spoke to Davis’ quarterback coach at Ball State, who assured him that Davis was fully capable of learning a complicated playbook, albeit at a different style and pace:
“I just think that we’re sitting there at five and we’re thinking, ‘Wow, we have an opportunity to get this guy,’” Singletary said. “And we were just hoping that we really did have the opportunity to come back and tag him and have him on our team before someone else did because he certainly has a heck of an arm. At the beginning of the season, he was one of those guys they were talking about going in the first pick. Maybe mid-season, something happened. Took a turn. But I’m very happy to have him.”