49ers Blocker Gets Honest on Being Brock Purdy’s Roommate

Brock Purdy

Getty Brock Purdy's offensive line roommate has been in the spotlight this season.

While San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Nick Zakelj won’t play in the Super Bowl due to injury, he briefly took the spotlight on Monday because of his roommate.

That’s 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. Zakelj and Purdy have been splitting rent in the Bay Area since last season, which originally made headlines in fall from a “Today” show interview with Purdy.

“It was funny at first,” Zakelj told the media on Monday at the Super Bowl Opening Night via the San Francisco Chronicle.

However, Zakelj admitted the national attention “got a little annoying at the end”. Zakelj’s tenure as Purdy’s roommate will likely come to an end next month in March since Purdy has a wedding coming up with his fiancé, Jenna Brandt.

Purdy and Zakelj both joined the 49ers in 2022 via the draft and also connected because of a mutual friend and college teammate and roommate of Purdy’s — Mike Rose. Zakelj knew the former Iowa State linebacker growing up in Ohio.

San Francisco took Zakelj out of Fordham in the sixth round of the draft, a round before Purdy who landed with the final pick. Zakelj has played in nine career games amid 12 offensive snaps and 39 special teams snaps.

As for Purdy, he started off as the third quarterback on the 49ers depth chart in 2022, but injuries changed that. Purdy got thrust into a starting role in December 2022, and he has shined ever since.

“It’s surreal to see all the exposure he’s gotten,” Zakelj said. “I just think that’s something that you’ve got to take in stride, one day at a time, and really enjoy it. He’s handling it really well.”

49ers Center Describes Brock Purdy in the Huddle

While Zakelj knows Purdy in a unique way on the field, 49ers center Jake Brendel knows Purdy uniquely on the field as the guy who snaps the ball to him.

“He’s very direct and concise,” Brendel told Sports Illustrated “All 49ers” writer Grant Cohn on Tuesday. “That’s what you want out of a quarterback in a game scenario. You saw it with that one play when he stopped the motion and made sure everyone was set before we snapped the clock because we were running out of time on the play clock.”

“That’s the type of grasp of the offense that he has. A lot of teams will just take a delay of game penalty,” Brendel continued. “And that was a key part of the game for us, and it ended up being a pivotal play. That’s the sort of thing that he brings on Sundays that other players don’t.”

Brendel started all 17 regular season games for the 49ers in 2022 and 2023 as he played 96% or more of the snap counts in that span. The former UCLA standout began his career with the Miami Dolphins before he joined the 49ers in 202o as a free agent.

Brock Purdy: ‘They’ve Believed in Me Since I’ve Stepped In’

Brendel told Cohn about how Purdy won over the offense last season, but Purdy conversely credits his teammates for buying in.

“They’ve believed in me since I’ve stepped in since last year,” Purdy said via The Associated Press. ”Throughout the year I feel like I’ve grown and we’ve all grown together, so definitely blessed to have these guys in the locker room with me and they’ve definitely had my back through the good and the bad.”