Trey Sermon primed for breakout season due to one key trait, Jeff Wilson says

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49ers' Wilson confident in Sermon breakout due to one key trait originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Trey Sermon might not have flashed in the 49ers' preseason exhibitions, but Jeff Wilson Jr. believes his teammate’s time is coming.

Sermon never got any momentum going in his rookie season after being selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Ohio State product appeared in nine games and recorded 41 carries for 167 yards and one touchdown. Wilson believes there will be a stark improvement this season.

Wilson spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area after the club’s final preseason contest against the Houston Texans and was very complimentary about what he has seen from Sermon since reporting back to Santa Clara for OTAs.

“Man, his whole game, all around, even his mindset,” Wilson said. “That was the main jump. You can obviously tell he worked on his body, his feet and speed. Most thing I’m impressed by in Trey is his mindset.”

There is heavy competition in the running backs room as the 49ers look ahead to Tuesday's final roster cut-down day and their Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears.

Elijah Mitchell, who led the team in rushing in 2021, is set to be ready for the season opener after being sidelined by a hamstring injury during training camp.

The group also includes 2022 third-round pick Ty Davis-Price and undrafted rookie Jordan Mason. Both have had ups and downs in the preseason, flashing against the Minnesota Vikings and struggling a few days later in Houston.

JaMycal Hasty has proven to be valuable in short yardage situations and on special teams. He rounds out the group along with Wilson, who is feeling stronger and more like himself being one more year removed from a knee injury that sidelined him for the first eight games of the 2021 season.

Wilson believes Sermon will prove he was worthy of being a high-round draft pick this season. The veteran running back has seen more than just a physical transformation by the young ball carrier. He has seen a change in his mental approach both on and off the field.

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“I’m so proud of him, to see him grow through all the obstacles he had deal with,” Wilson said.  “You hear all the outside world. Even when you hear that, he doubled back down, he took on the challenge and you can just tell even just the way he walks around and carries himself in the locker room.

“He’s a totally different player than he was last year, and I’m proud of him.”

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