The 49ers added a little more running back depth Monday, announcing the signing of undrafted free agent rookie Glenn Winston.
Winston joins San Francisco on the same day the club waived-injured tailback Kendall Hunter with an ACL tear.
A former Michigan high school star, 25-year-old Winston began his collegiate career at Michigan State (2008-2009), but he was dismissed from the team after he was reportedly involved in an altercation at a fraternity house. According to published reports, he was sentenced to six months in prison in 2010 in connection with the incident. Winston also reportedly served a prison stint of four months in 2009 in connection with an altercation with a Michigan State hockey player. He also suffered a torn right ACL in 2009.
“A mistake doesn’t dictate who I am,” Winston told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press in a pre-draft feature published in May. “I was young around the time. I was 18, 19, I’m a grown man now. I’m completely past that. I paid my debt.”
Winston played at Northwood (Mich.) University in 2013, rushing 175 times for 717 yards and nine TDs.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, Winston worked out for the Niners before signing on Monday.
Before Winston’s signing was revealed by the club, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh indicated the club would adding a back for depth.
“Getting to the point where we’re practicing with about 69 guys, 69 healthy guys, to my count today,” Harbaugh told reporters after practice, according to a transcript from the club. “Three of those are kickers and one is a long snapper, so, 65 bodies or so.
“We need guys, and it’s not just the chance to play running back, all that the football game is going to entail – running down on kickoffs, punts, special teams. It’s a great chance for another youngster to compete. I think our team needed that.”
The addition of Winston gives the 49ers five healthy tailbacks, with Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde, Alfonso Smith and Jewel Hampton already on hand.