SANTA CLARA The 49ers will keep an eye Sunday on safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, the St. Louis Rams best defender.
Atogwe has a knack of making big plays, with 18 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles since breaking into the league as a third-round draft pick from Stanford in 2005. Yes, 49ers coach Mike Singletary knows all about him.
I know him because he dates my daughter, Singletary said Friday.
Atogwe is dating Singletarys second-oldest daughter, Jill, who is playing volleyball this season at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Jill Singletary attended Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, where she met Atogwe, Mike Singletary said.
Atogwe attended Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University, in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, as part of the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program in March.
Jill accepted an offer from former 49ers tight end Jamie Williams, the athletic director of Academy of Art, to resume her volleyball career this season.
Hes a gentleman, Mike Singletary said. Hes been to my home several times. Weve had conversations not about football, but about life. Hes a quality individual. Thats what I know about him.
Atogwe is playing this season with a one-year contract as the Rams franchise player. He is scheduled for free agency at the end of the year.
SMITH FINED FOR HIT ON FAVRE
Defensive lineman Justin Smith was fined $5,000 for his hit on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre that drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. Smith was fined for striking the quarterback in the knee area, the NFL said. The onus is on defensive players, even if theyre on the ground, to get up and hit a quarterback above the knee. Just call it the Tom Brady Rule.
However, Smith said he did hit Favre above the knee, and that the film review confirmed it. He said he plans to appeal the fine.
The thing that made me mad was it cost us 15 yards, Smith said. That, and the penalty on (Shawntae Spencer) hurt us a bunch. . . . I thought I hit him in the thigh. Any time you get around the quarterbacks knee, the way the owners put the rule in, I believe, is to protect the guy where they have all their money.