The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Welcome to the league, Rook! Former Panther ready for NFL action

Akhello Withspoon, former City College defensive back, catches and runs the ball during the final home football game against Diablo Valley College at Hughes Stadium on Nov. 9, 2013 | Staff Photographer | Tamara M. Knox

Nick Pecoraro
Sports Editor
[email protected]


City College football alum Ahkello Witherspoon is realizing his dreams of playing professional football.

The former Sacramento resident will suit up just down the road in Santa Clara to play for the San Francisco 49ers in his rookie season.

Witherspoon, a graduate of Christian Brothers High School, spent one season with City College in 2013 before transferring to the University of Colorado, Boulder. The 6-foot-3 defensive back earned a second-team, All-Pac-12 selection in 2016 after he led the nation in passes defended during his senior season.

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“[Witherspoon has] unique skills at the cornerback position, in terms of his height, weight, speed and athleticism,” said San Francisco’s first-year general manager John Lynch after drafting Witherspoon. “It’s rare to find a cornerback who’s close to 6-3, around 200 pounds, but has the feet of a guy you would think is 5-9, 5-10. He’s around the ball a lot. He’s really just a smart player who we grew to like more and more throughout the process.”  

Witherspoon logged nine tackles over the course of the preseason, which was seventh most on the 49ers’ roster.

According to the team’s website, Witherspoon is currently third on the depth chart for cornerbacks. Although it may take time before he starts seeing regular game time, Witherspoon knows that, in football, opportunity can present itself at any moment.

“I’m preparing like I’m a day-one starter,” Witherspoon said in a story by senior reporter Joe Fann on Aug. 25. “That’s my mindset. That’s my long-term goal in this league. I’ve just got to keep working and keep pushing forward.”

The 49ers open up the 2017 regular season at home against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 10.

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