By Zach Cavanagh

JSerra alum and San Clemente native Dante Pettis was selected No. 44 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Pettis is the first JSerra graduate to be selected in the NFL Draft.

Pettis was a four-year senior at the University of Washington where he was a receiver and punt returner.

Pettis was slated as a third or fourth round pick by analysts and scouting services, but the 49ers traded up to the No. 12 pick in the second round, flipping spots with the Washington Redskins, to select him.

Pettis made his made his major mark in college as a punt returner with nine punt-return touchdowns to set the career NCAA record. Pettis also tied the NCAA record for consecutive games with a punt-return touchdown after scoring in the first three games of the 2017 season as a senior.

Pettis returned four punts for touchdowns as a senior, two in each of his junior and sophomore seasons and one in his freshman season.

Pettis caught 63 passes for 761 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior to lead the Huskies in all three categories. Pettis was far and away Washington’s top receiver with nearly three times as many catches and more than double the passing yards and receiving touchdowns of his closest teammate.

In his junior season, Pettis caught fewer passes (53) but for more yards (822) and more than double the touchdowns (15) than his senior season.

JSerra senior Dante Pettis leads the Lions receiving corps with eight touchdowns. Photo by Tony Tribolet
JSerra senior Dante Pettis leads the Lions receiving corps with eight touchdowns. Photo by Tony Tribolet

In 2013 as a senior at JSerra, Pettis was the Lions top receiver. Pettis led JSerra in receptions (50), receiving yards (889) and touchdown catches (11).

Dante won’t be the first in his family to get a shot in professional sports or in the NFL. Dante’s father, Gary Pettis played major league baseball, and his cousin, Austin Pettis, played in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers.

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