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49ers' Sherman gathers top defensive backs, invites teammate Witherspoon

New 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is holding an academy for the top cornerbacks in the league this week at Stanford University, and fellow 49ers starter Ahkello Witherspoon is among his invites.

Tuesday's session involved on-field work followed by a panel discussion with venture capitalists about how football players can leverage their business opportunities. Sherman, who played at Stanford, was on the panel.

The group also included Pro Bowlers like Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib, Darius Slay of the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings' Xavier Rhodes. The Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson is expected to join later in the week.

The star power prompted a social media response from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

"Ah s***, I may have to get the QB family together after watching this!" Brady wrote in response to a Tweet from Sherman about the event. "Can’t let you get the edge on us," he wrote, tagging Talib, Witherspoon, Sherman, Slay and Rhodes. "What do you think @aaronrodgers12 @drewbrees @dangerusswilson ???"

Talib's inclusion is notable considering the 49ers tried to trade for him earlier this year, but the veteran cornerback, then with the Broncos, didn't want to go to San Francisco. He instead was sent to Los Angeles, where he was reunited with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

The rejection prompted the 49ers to sign Sherman, who is coming back from a torn Achilles tendon but who appears on track to practice in full when training camp begins next month.

That Witherspoon received an invitation also is noteworthy. It means the second-year cornerback gets exposure to some of the best players in the game and signals that Sherman, the dean of NFL cornerbacks, has been impressed with what he's seen so far in 49ers practices.

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