Wentz, now with the Indianapolis Colts, offered some advice at a charity event in Fargo over the weekend for fellow North Dakota State alum Trey Lance as he prepares for training camp with the San Francisco 49ers, telling the rookie to just “be himself.”
“There are going to be a million things pulling you in one direction, then the other direction, pressure, expectations, all these things,” Wentz said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “But I know Trey. He’s got a great head on his shoulders. He’s young, age-wise, but he’s very mature. I know he’s going to be just fine.”
Lance was drafted third overall by the Niners in the 2021 draft after just one full season as North Dakota’s starting quarterback. He led the Bisons to the FCS title as a redshirt freshman after 16 straight wins where he totaled 2,786 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance runs for a touchdown against Central Arkansas in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State won 39-28. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
He only played one game the following season as a result of the pandemic.
“He’s in a great situation,” Wentz continued. “They have a great culture there in San Fran, a good coaching staff. So I know he’s going to do a great job, and I’m excited for him. I just keep telling him to be himself: Don’t let any of those things change who you are, change your values, change your perspective on football. Just go play.”
Wentz is hoping to have a similar situation in Indianapolis after being traded to the Colts following five seasons with the Eagles.
After being drafted as the No. 2 pick in 2016, Wentz began his rookie year as Philadelphia’s starter. He broke several franchise rookie records and the NFL’s record for the most completions by a rookie with 379 – a record that has since been topped by Los Angeles Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert.
Wentz helped bring the Eagles their only Super Bowl win the following year but a string of injuries, mixed with inconsistent play and the eventual drafting of rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts, led to his departure.
Training camps are set to begin on July 27 and Lance will have the chance to compete to start at some point this season, despite Jimmy Garoppolo being named the 49ers’ starting quarterback.
“I definitely see it as Jimmy is the starter, but if Trey is ready to compete, I have no problem with it,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier this month.