Local stars ready for some football

FRESNO, Calif.

"We all kind of just got the news," said rookie free agent Ryan Colburn. "The lockout's over so we're all kind of in a mad rush to check our phones and see what our agents are saying."

"It was kind of nerve-wracking not knowing when to go," said 49ers offensive lineman Nick Howell. "So after what I hear today I think we report on Wednesday. And I'm ready to go."

And now for these local NFL hopefuls and veterans, just one thing remains.

"Pack your bags," Colburn said. "Packs your bags, say your goodbyes, and just get your mind right to leave and get all your affairs in order."

Today's agreement means the entire preseason has been saved. Veteran free agents and rookies alike say that's a major positive.

"Just because it gets you ready," said unrestricted free agent Richard Marshall. "It gets you ready to play with your teammates. Like signal calls and different things like that."

"Especially after a four month period of not having any practice or anything like that." said Howell. "It's also crunch time for who can grasp the playbook better [and] who's ready to adapt to the game pace."

But the bottom line remains: Football is back, in the best interests of all parties involved.

"It's a great feeling," said Marshall. "It's great for everyone."

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