C.J. Beathard is a rookie on the San Francisco 49ers. After leading Iowa to the Rose Bowl as a junior, Beathard led the Hawkeyes to an 8-win season in 2016. Now he’s on the 49ers depth chart.
Here’s what you need to know about the 49ers quarterback.
1. C.J. Beathard is all over the Iowa football record books
C.J. Beathard’s 21 wins as a starting quarterback rank third in program history. But he has a bunch more top-10 spots in the Hawkeyes record book.
- 40 touchdown passes to rank sixth
- 5,991 total offense to rank sixth
- 454 completions to rank seventh
- 5,562 passing yards to rank eighth
Beathard passed for 179 yards as a freshman and then 645 yards as a sophomore. He then took off as a junior, throwing for 2,809 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. Beathard led Iowa to a 12-0 start and a spot in the Rose Bowl. In his senior season, with the Hawkeyes receiving corps hurt with injuries, Beathard passed for 1,929 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
2. C.J. Beathard went in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft — a shock to experts
After Beathard and Iowa had a disappointing 2016 season considering the preseason top-20 ranking, Beathard seemed to have lost some momentum going into a possible NFL career. But Beathard didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2017 NFL Draft.
The 49ers drafted Beathard in the third round at No. 104 overall. That made him the sixth quarterback taken in the draft after Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and David Webb.
Beathard later signed a 4-year deal with the 49ers.
3. C.J. Beathard got the nickname “Sunshine” because of his long hair
Hawkeyes fans gave him the nickname “Sunshine” because of his long hair looked like that of Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass from “Remember The Titans.” Beathard eventually cut off his hair and donated it to Wigs For Kids. The non-profit organization makes wigs to support children who have lost their own hair because of various medical problems.
4. C.J. Beathard’s family is well-known in both football — and country music
Beathard’s grandfather, Bobby, is a former NFL general manager. Beathard’s father, Casey, is a songwriter. Casey’s co-written six No. 1 songs, including “The Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney.
Beathard even appeared in the music video at the 1:50 mark.
Beathard is also the brother of rising country music singer Tucker Beathard.
5. C.J. Beathard used a strong preseason to move up the depth chart
C.J. Beathard’s impressive preseason turned heads. He led 49ers quarterbacks with 26 completions, 45 attempts, 401 yards, 4 touchdowns and also had only 1 interception in the preseason.
But his most eye-opening play was on the ground. Beathard, who rushed for -13 yards as a senior in Iowa because of sacks, outran the Los Angeles Chargers defense for a 62-yard touchdown in an August 31 preseason game.
Thanks to the run, Beathard finished the preseason third on the 49ers with 85 rushing yards, behind only Joe Williams and Raheem Mostert.
Going into the 2017 NFL regular season, Beathard was second on the depth chart after Brian Hoyer, another former Big Ten quarterback. Hoyer played at Michigan State.