Early bird gets the head coach's attention

Quinton Patton, the wide receiver San Francisco selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, "has a passion for the game and it shows," draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki wrote in his annual preview guide.

The 49ers can attest to that passion after Patton showed up ready to get a jump on his career. There was one problem. Rules prevent rookies from reporting until rookie camps, which are more than a week away. Patton had to catch a flight home, but the initiative he showed resonated with coach Jim Harbaugh.

"[The] fact he buys a ticket, flies out here, speaks volumes about him," Harbaugh told KNBR radio in San Francisco, according to San Jose Mercury news reporter Cam Inman.

Patton hopefully collected some frequent-flier miles in the process.