CHICAGO (CBS) — Quarterback Broc Rutter had a record-setting career at North Central College, leading them to their first-ever National Championship and essentially winning the Heisman Trophy equivalent in NCAA Division III.
Now, the Naperville native signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent. A Division III QB in the NFL doesn’t happen often and he’s excited to show he belongs.
“The last couple of days have been super exciting and just something that’s been surreal. It’s a moment I’ve been dreaming of my whole life,” Rutter told CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke.
Rutter knew the 49ers had interest in him since his junior year and stayed in touch with him during his senior season.
“I got super lucky to get my two pro days in at Northwestern and Northern Illinois Universities. They were there and got to see me throw in person there and that really helped me a lot. 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the best with quarterbacks in the NFL,” Rutter said. “We really just thought this would be such a great opportunity for me going in and learning and seeing how they do things and this is the best place for me to develop my game into a NFL quarterback.”
And, he’ll get to learn from another Chicago-area native and small college quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, who played at Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois University.
“It’s really cool that he’s from the area and played at Eastern Illinois,” Rutter said. “My college coach played at Eastern Illinois, so there’s so many connections.”
So what does it mean to be a quarterback from Division III in the NFL?
“I’m really aware how rare of an opportunity this is. I couldn’t have done this without my coaches and the staff I had at North Central College and my teammates,” Rutter said. “There’s just so many people involved and I can’t be more thankful.”