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Midwestern State University quarterback Layton Rabb, a 2014 Llano High School graduate, accepted invitations to rookie minicamps for the San Franciso 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. Rabb completed his eligibility at MSU in 2018 and has been training for a professional football career the past several months. Photo courtesy of Midwestern State University
STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Former Llano Yellow Jackets quarterback Layton Rabb is taking the next step toward his career goal: earning a spot on an NFL roster.
The 6-foot 4-inch 2014 Llano High School graduate accepted invitations to participate in rookie minicamps for the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams soon after the NFL completed the 2019 draft April 27. The quarterback will tentatively head to San Francisco on May 2-5 then Los Angeles to visit the Rams.
Rabb believes he would fit into either of the teams’ offenses.
“If the 49ers offer, obviously, I’d take it,” he said. “If the 49ers don’t offer, then I’ll go to the Rams (minicamp).”
Rabb said he wasn’t surprised to hear from San Francisco. The organization has been in contact with him for the past several months, even sending personnel to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls during the past football season. The quarterback started at MSU the last two years.
When Rabb competed at the 2019 College Gridiron Showcase on Jan. 5-9 in Fort Worth, the 49ers were there to watch. The showcase provides exposure and education for top college senior football players from across the country.
“The 49ers have been interested from the start,” Rabb said. “I fit their style of offense. They’ve been interested since day one.”
San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, the son of former Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan, has been leading the 49ers for the past two years since helping the Atlanta Falcons reach Super Bowl LI.
If the 49ers don’t make him an offer, Rabb stressed the Rams aren’t a step back. Los Angeles lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII in February.
Both Shanahan and McVay served as offensive coordinators for the Washington Redskins when Mike Shanahan was the head coach; Kyle Shanahan from 2010-13 and McVay from 2014-16. Both coaches are known for improving the quarterbacks on their rosters.
“Obviously, the best-case scenario is to go to an organization that develops quarterbacks,” Rabb said. “I definitely feel like that with the 49ers and the Rams.”
The Llano product threw for 6,399 yards and 62 passing touchdowns at MSU. Each stat ranks second all time at the school.
Rabb didn’t land a college scholarship right out of high school; he walked on at MSU, where he eventually earned one.
Rabb said he spent six weeks after the first of the year at TEST Football Academy in New Jersey, which prepares college players for the NFL. Then, he returned to Wichita Falls, where he received phone calls from the 49ers and the Rams.
“I was excited,” he said. “I put myself in a pretty good situation. Both of those teams have been talking to me throughout the process. I’m definitely excited. I felt confident I’d get at least one opportunity.”