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Albany’s Lockette cut by 49ers

Monroe’s Ricardo Lockette ran a 4.37 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine — the fastest for a receiver — but still went undrafted. He was eventually signed by the Seahawks, who cut him last year. Lockette was then picked up by the 49ers, who then cut him Thursday. (Herald file photo)

Monroe’s Ricardo Lockette ran a 4.37 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine — the fastest for a receiver — but still went undrafted. He was eventually signed by the Seahawks, who cut him last year. Lockette was then picked up by the 49ers, who then cut him Thursday. (Herald file photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Albany native Ricardo Lockette, who was vying for a spot on the roster of the defending NFC champions San Francisco 49ers, was cut by the team Thursday.

Lockette, who was signed off waivers in 2012 when he was released by the Seattle Seahawks, spent all of last season on the 49ers’ practice squad. However, many felt he had a great shot to make the team’s 54-man roster this season after he spent the offseason working out with San Fran starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The duo also have become good friends off the field, buying a house together this summer. Lockette told The Herald in July that they’d been spending long hours studying the playbook, and he hoped it would pay off in the form of a starting job.

But Lockette’s short stint ended Thursday as the team cut the former Monroe and Fort Valley State star to make room for backup Seneca Wallace, who was signed to a deal after Lockette was released.

Lockette’s release was somewhat surprising considering 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh raved about the 6-foot-2, 211-pound speedster who won an NCAA Division II national championship in the 200M in college, during the NFL owners’ meeting in March.

“There is something special there,” Harbaugh told reporters when asked about Lockette. “I can feel it.”

Even more curiously, the release was made during the first major round of cuts with teams not needing to get down to 75 players until Tuesday.

Lockette tied for the fastest 40-yard dash time by a WR at the 2011 NFL Combine (4.37) and went undrafted, only to be picked up by Seattle immediately after the draft.