Training camp doesn’t just bring NFL players back together from last season’s roster, but also brings out players searching for a new home.
That was the case of one defensive lineman — who arrived to the SAP Performance Center in Santa Clara one day before the San Francisco 49ers officially return to camp to help kick off the 2022 season.
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Former Teammate of Warner Among Monday Tryouts
Per the NFL’s transaction wire for Monday, July 25, Tomasi Laulile was on the list of players who tried out for the 49ers.
Laulile was recently seen in the United States Football League (USFL) and played with the Houston Gamblers in the league’s return — even delivering this six-point play during the season:
Before playing in the USFL and embarking on his pro career, the 27-year-old from Thousand Oaks, California and graduate of Westlake High School played for Brigham Young University. He went on to produce 47 tackles, 28 solo stops, 10 TFL’s, five sacks and one interception that came in the 2014 season.
Laulile played from 2014 to 2016 at the Provo, Utah campus. But that was during a time Warner was in a BYU Cougar uniform.
Warner was part of the 2014 recruiting class for BYU. Warner would go on to play with Laulile in those three seasons, but the inside linebacker stayed behind for his senior campaign in 2017.
The 6-foot-4, 301-pound Laulile was described as an “explosive” and “well-built defensive tackle” by Lance Zierlein of nfl.com in his draft evaluation of the Cougar. However, he missed the entire 2017 season due to academic issues at BYU, which eventually hurt his draft stock.
He eventually found his way to the Indianapolis Colts in 2018. This past season in the USFL, he delivered 21 tackles and 0.5 sacks. He wasn’t the only defender who made the 49ers’ Monday tryout list.
Who Else Tried Out for the 49ers
T.J. Carter was among the other names who tried out for the 49ers.
If the name rings a bell, he was a towering 6-foot-4, 289-pound defensive line presence for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021. Carter, though, has had two other stops with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.
While with the Black and Gold, Carter managed to squeeze in one tackle during the month of August. However, he found himself in a loaded defensive lineman room in the Steel City that featured names like 2021 fifth rounder Isaiahh Loudermilk, veteran defensive tackle Chris Wormley and All-Pro Cameron Heyward. Carter was eventually released for the 53-man roster cutoff.
Before his NFL career began, Carter was a constant starting presence on the Kentucky defensive line. Per the school’s website, Carter started in 28 games and saw action in 50 total contests.
Carter racked up 71 total tackles including 12 behind the line of scrimmage. He also added six career sacks in Lexington and used his long arms to break up five passes in the trenches. He also helped guide the Wildcats to four straight college football bowl games including winning back-to-back bowl wins over Penn State on January 1, 2019 and Virginia Tech on December 31 of the same year.
His best season was in 2019 — when he set career-high marks in tackles (26) and stops for a loss (six). Carter, though, was thrown this curveball on his Pro Day: The threat of coronavirus, which canceled his Pro Day set for March. Carter eventually went undrafted before the Cardinals swooped him up as a UDFA.
Carter tried his NFL dreams again the following year, taking part in UK’s 2021 Pro Day as one of the unsigned players looking to impress NFL scouts one more time.
Now, Carter continues to search for an NFL home as camps again have begun to ramp up.
Also, Robert Nkemdiche was on the lists of tryouts. Nkemdiche, though, signed with the 49ers per @TheSFNiners on July 20.