49ers rookie safety Eric Reid named starter

The San Francisco 49ers are entrusting the safety job vacated by Dashon Goldson to first-round rookie Eric Reid, naming him the starting free safety today.

The former LSU star will open the season in the starting lineup against the Green Bay Packers opposite veteran Donte Whitner.

"I feel like a professional football player now," Reid told reporters. "It's obviously good news for me. I'm just going to keep working hard and try to keep the spot. I've been running with the 1s the last couple days. That's always been the goal."

Reid recorded 199 tackles and six interceptions at LSU.

"Just everything we've talked about, he's been good," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "He's shown that he's picked up the system fast and played well in games," Harbaugh said. "It's been a nice progression, nice process for him."

Added Whitner: "He doesn't look confused at all now. He's a guy, from high school on to college, he's always been a good student and a student of the game. When you put those two in a guy that is willing to work, that's why you win a starting free safety spot on arguably the best defense as a rookie. It's hard to do, and he did it."

Meanwhile, the 49ers waived-injured defensive tackles Lawrence Okoye and Lamar Divens and placed cornerback Chris Culliver (torn ACL) on injured reserve.

Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Marcus Lattimore, Luke Marquardt and Eric Wright were placed on the reserve non-football injury list and linebacker Joe Holland was signed to a one-year deal.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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