While his former 49ers teammates are lining up in India...

While his former 49ers teammates are lining up in Indianapolis today for their first exhibition game, former San Francisco running back Glen Coffee will be lining up the rest of his life.

In his first interview since abruptly stepping away from the game, Coffee said he planned to return to the University of Alabama to complete his undergraduate degree in consumer affairs and pursue a master's in a field to be determined.

Coffee, a third-round draft pick a year ago, said he had contemplated leaving football since he played for the Crimson Tide. He said he left school after his junior year in the hope that playing professionally would jump-start his passion for the game. It did not.

"It was a struggle for a long time," the ex-running back said. "Actually, when I look back, I feel I never should have entered the draft in the first place. Football was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college. It changed my views on everything. But I still was a football player because it was expected of me – it was something I did all my life. I was basically wasting the (49ers') time."

Since his religious awakening, Coffee said he has been directed down another path. Although his retirement papers have not been filed, he said he would not reconsider his decision.

"I've already told Christ it's time to go," he said. "I've already rung the bell. That's not going to happen."

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