Ex-49ers lineman Lakes dies at 72

BY foxsports • March 6, 2012

Former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Roland Lakes has died at the age of 72, the team announced Tuesday.

Lakes, who died Monday, held the distinction of being the 49ers' youngest starting lineman for nearly 50 years, after taking the field in 1961 at the age of 21 years, 11 months and 24 days.

San Francisco right tackle Anthony Davis set a new mark in 2010 when he made his first career start at 20 years and 11 months old, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

A Mississippi native, Lakes played at Wichita State University before being selected by the 49ers in the second round of the 1961 NFL Draft.

He would spend the next 10 seasons in San Francisco, starting 124 games. He then played one season with the New York Giants before retiring in 1971.

"He was such a great guy," 49ers Hall of Fame offensive tackle Bob St. Clair told the Chronicle.

"I can't say enough. Everyone liked Roland. He wasn't controversial at all about anything. He was one of the guys. He got along so well with everyone else."

After retiring, Lakes worked as a consultant in San Pablo, Calif.

Lakes was born in Vicksburg, Miss., on Dec. 25, 1939. Funeral arrangements were still pending.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.