Ravens tight end Charlie Kolar has seen people lose — badly — to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy before.

“He’s awesome at impersonations,” Kolar said of his former college teammate at Iowa State. “Once, we were in a hotel for training camp, and he started calling people using the [linebackers coach’s] voice, like ‘Mason, come down.’ And he got like three guys. He had some guy doing pushups and sprints down the hallway.”

Another person Purdy loves to imitate? His old teammate — and upcoming opponent, in a prime-time Christmas showdown being touted as the NFL’s Game of the Year — Charlie Kolar.

Even Kolar has to admit the impersonation is so good it’s bad.

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“He used to do it in the huddle,” Kolar said.

The 49ers' Brock Purdy has thrown 29 touchdown passes and seven interceptions this season. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The sense of humor and good-natured personality were not the first things Kolar noticed about Purdy, who has gone from being the last player selected in the 2022 draft to this year’s MVP favorite (ahead of Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson). Instead, Kolar thinks about the interesting timing of his introduction to Purdy: when the QB took a recruiting visit to Iowa State on his senior year spring break.

Visiting colleges was certainly not what Kolar wanted to do with his spring break at that age. Even then, Purdy was locked in and had charisma, Kolar recalls. But his humor kept him from being “stiff.”

Over their four seasons together, Kolar caught over 160 passes from Purdy for over 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. One of Kolar’s favorite on-field memories of Purdy was the 2020 game against Baylor.

“He played terrible like the whole first half,” Kolar said. “And Baylor was bad that year, too.”

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Why is that Kolar’s favorite memory? Because Purdy bounced back. He threw for 114 yards and three touchdowns, one to Kolar. That game is why Kolar was not one of the people “jumping off the bandwagon” when the 49ers lost three in a row this season.

Although Kolar is a Purdy fan (outside of when Purdy plays the Ravens), he has to admit he’s surprised by Purdy’s season. He always expected success, but “it’s hard to see anyone being an NFL MVP candidate in Year 2.”

The two of them have kept in touch throughout the season, and now they’re both playing for teams at the top of their conferences. That makes the Christmas game even more of a treat.

“I know how good he is, and I know how good we are,” Kolar said. “It’ll be crazy, man. [Everyone’s] really excited. People think it might be a matchup in the future.”

As in early February — at the Super Bowl.

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