49ers QB Purdy shares surprising connection with NCAA star Clark

49ers QB Purdy shares surprising connection with NCAA star Clark originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Brock Purdy and Caitlin Clark are two rising stars in the sports world, but many might not know the unlikely link between the 49ers quarterback and University of Iowa basketball star.

Caitlin, who recently broke the NCAA women's scoring record as a Hawkeye, is an Iowa native of Des Moines. And Purdy made a name for himself at Iowa State, where Caitlin's brother Blake Clark was backup quarterback.

The two signal-callers weren't just teammates, becoming close friends. Blake will be at Purdy's wedding this offseason -- a friendship the NFL pro detailed during Super Bowl week when asked about Caitlin.

"So Blake Clark is a great friend of mine, he's going to be at my wedding," Purdy told Austin Franklin (h/t The Mirror). "He's the man, yeah I love him, he was one of my best friends for four years at Iowa State.

"Caitlin, I wasn't around as much but obviously just through Blake. We'd always watch her and what a baller she was from day one. Obviously, from high school, we knew she was going to be a game-changer. So, to see her now absolutely killing it, I couldn't be happier for her."

It definitely is a small world, but not altogether surprising that Purdy knows the Clark family given their Iowa ties.

Just like Caitlin has become a household name in the state and country at large, Purdy has done so as well -- first as a four-year starter with the Cyclones, where he holds nearly every passing record, and then as Mr. Irrelevant with San Francisco, collecting franchise records there as well while leading the team to Super Bowl LVIII.

Greatness recognizes greatness, and Purdy added how Caitlin serves as an inspiration to fellow athletes like himself.

"I think just the grit," Purdy said. "The competitive nature that he has. When you watch it, it makes you want to play, it makes you want to play your sport well. So, when you see her out there getting her teammates fired up and stuff like that, it reminds you of when you're out on the field playing and your willingness to win."

Even though the 49ers didn't win a championship ring this season, Purdy won't leave 2024 ring-less after he marries his fiancée, Jenna Brandt. And when San Francisco is ready to tackle its next campaign, they'll certainly need some of the grit Caitlin has shown on the court.

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