TE Cameron Latu Press Conference

TE Cameron Latu

Press Conference – April 28, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

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How much time have you spent studying TE George Kittle and just the way the 49ers use tight ends in this offense?

“Man, that’s all I watch, especially the run game. I try to model my game after George. I watched him after these last two years with my tight ends coach and just tried to take tools that he’s been using in the run game and passing game and apply them to my game. To team up with him and be on the same team is a blessing, to be able to learn under him.”

Can you just talk about your evolution from switching from tight end and how that’s gone, and where you think you’re headed?

“I transitioned from being a tight end following my freshman year. I just kind of took it from year to year, and day to day, and now I’m at the position where I’m at just trying to be consistent day to day and find a routine for myself. I’ll continue to do that when I enter the NFL and just progress my game daily. I can’t wait to see where it heads with this coaching staff and the players around me.”

Why did you want to make the move? What did you see yourself doing?

“When coach Sarkisian came into the picture with the offensive coordinator position at Alabama, he kind of questioned to see if I wanted to play the position. Then [Alabama head] coach [Nick] Saban asked me the same question because we needed bodies at tight end. I played the position in high school and could fit the position he thought. I made the switch for the team and it ended up being a great switch for myself. I started developing towards that position daily and finding weaknesses every day.”

What do you know about the 49ers, their offense and how they use their tight ends? Obviously, you’re going to be on the field a lot with George Kittle. What do you think about the dual role that you might be in?

“I watched a lot of their tape. A lot of the stuff we did at Alabama we stole from the 49ers because their run game package is pretty phenomenal. The key factors of George Kittle’s blocking and his technique, I learned a lot from him in that part of the game. Then you go to the passing game and he does the same thing just as well. YAC, after the catch, I just know they really use the tight end heavy and I’m excited to go learn under that offense.”

What do you think your strengths are as a tight end? You talked about run blocking and pass catching, what do you think is the strongest part of your game?

“I think I’m a balanced tight end. I think I can do it all. You can put me in any position and I think I could be excellent at it. Like I said, I have every place to improve in both passing and run blocking, but that’s just technical things that I can work on. That’s what I’m going to attack daily when I get there.”

They said on the draft broadcast that it seemed like you were getting better and better as the season went on, that your best games came at the end. Did you feel that out there, that your confidence was growing as the season went on?

“Yeah, definitely. I gain as much of my confidence through preparation, through recovery and getting my body right, and just getting ready for the games on Saturday. I am confident in my preparation and what I do in practice.”

Who did you talk to at the 49ers? What was your visit like or what were your conversations like with the 49ers personnel?

“I spent about two hours with [tight end] coach [Brian] Fleury watching film. The way he dissects film is just amazing. He is very detailed and I can’t wait to be coached by him. I’m very excited. I talked to Mr. [GM John] Lynch, I talked to [head coach Kyle] coach Shanahan, the OC, I talked to everybody, the whole staff. I just can’t wait to go down there and just get going. I can’t wait.”

You’re part of the Polynesian culture. S Talanoa Hufanga is out here. How does it feel to represent your culture in the NFL?

“It is huge. I got my family out here in Dallas with me. I was on the phone with Talanoa right after I got drafted, so it is crazy. Me and him are going to turn up, for sure, and he’s going to make me better every day.”

What is your history with Talanoa? How long have you guys known each other? What is your friendship like?

“He was in the 2018 class and the number one athlete coming out of high school, so that’s what I’ve known him as. I met him at a couple camps and the fact that we were both Polynesian made us magnets to each other. We met each other and I followed his career. He’s been doing it in the NFL and made All-Pro last year. He’s the real deal so I can’t wait to go work with him and he’s going to make me better every day.”