Charlotte 49ers all-time leading receiver Austin Duke, all-time leading running back Kalif Phillips and standout defensive lineman Brandon Banks have all come to terms with NFL teams as unrestricted free agents.
In a release by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, Duke has agreed to terms with the team, keeping his local talents in town. A member of the 49ers original signing class, Duke is one of nine 49ers that played in each of Charlotte’s 46 games during its first four seasons. He made 41 starts in his four-year career.
Phillips announced on Twitter that he is signing with the Green Bay Packers.
A member of the 49ers second recruiting class, he surpassed 4,000 career rushing yards, notched his 43rd career TD and had seven 100-yard performances from scrimmage in 2016. His school-record 4,020 career rushing yards ranked 13th among active FBS rushers at the end of the 2016 season.
Banks, another original 49er from the program’s first recruiting class, has signed with the Washington Redskins.
Banks, who ranks second all-time with 43 career starts in 44 games played, earned Honorable Mention all-Conference USA honors as a senior. He recorded a career-high 35 tackles as a senior and added 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks and 7 QB hurries.
"We're excited about the opportunities for Austin, Kalif and Brandon,” said Brad Lambert, head coach of the Charlotte 49ers football team. “That whole class helped lay our foundation and took a chance on us. It's great to see them rewarded for their hard work. We are extremely proud of them and what they have accomplished."
Photo: Brandon Banks, Austin Duke and Kalif Phillips