That has become abundantly clear after Mark Quattlebaum joined Brooks Barden Thursday in committing to the 49ers in hopes of recreating their effective quarterback-receiver combination.
Barden committed to UNC Charlotte on July 26 and Mark Quattlebaum was offered a scholarship to join him six days later. He accepted soon after.
“I wanted to be with somebody that I knew so I could be more comfortable playing,” Quattlebaum said. “There was no one else from Cartersville going to any of the other school’s that had already offered me.”
Fellow Cartersville receiver, T.L. Ford, was also offered by Charlotte, but chose Kansas State instead.
Quattlebaum had already been offered scholarships by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Marshall University and Liberty University.
The two-way player was an all-county safety a year ago, but also put forth some impressive numbers as a wide receiver.
“I could play both sides of the ball,” he said. “The coach told me I could play slot receiver or I could play defensive back, which I already did in high school so I would feel comfortable playing both sides.
Quattlebaum is excited about the opportunity to play alongside a current teammate.
“Brooks and I have been together since elementary school,” Quattlebaum said. “We have been on the same teams in recreation, middle school and high school, and running the same offense all four years in high school. Going to college and running the same offense would be even better because we’re already accustomed to it.”
UNC Charlotte runs a similar offense to the one Cartersville does, which Quattlebaum thrived in a year ago. He scored nine touchdowns as a receiver in 2012. He also recorded 72 tackles and two interceptions as a safety.
Quattlebaum pointed out the city of Charlotte as another reason he chose the school.
“It had a lot to do with the location,” he said. “Can I get home whenever I feel like I need to get home? What’s surrounding the school? Can I go somewhere and have fun without being at the school?”
UNC-Charlotte will bring back its football program after a 65-season absence in 2013. The program will join Conference USA in 2015
Overall, Quattlebaum is very excited to be playing at the next level.
“It’s been a big dream of mine to always go to the next level,” he said. “Even in recreation, you always want to go to middle school and play football, then you just want to go to high school. In high school you just want to go as far as you can until football can’t bring you any further.”