Created on: January 20, 2013
When the San Francisco 49ers take to the field for the 2013 NFC Championship game, their leader will be someone that no one saw coming. The team was coming off a tremendous 2011 season, where they fell one game short of making it to the Super Bowl. Quarterback Alex Smith led the club to that magical run, but as the team prepares to meet Atlanta in the NFC title game, Smith is on the bench, watching the exploits of his one time backup, Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick did not receive much publicity in the offseason as a possible starter, which is in line with how he has been underestimated most of his playing career. Too thin and poor mechanics were just a few of the rips on Kaepernick as he made his way up the different levels of football. As an eight year old, he was a punter and defensive lineman that was playing sparingly at best. His life would change at age nine, when he was given the opportunity to play quarterback. The first time he dropped back to pass, he unleashed a long one that went for a touchdown.
He continued to be a quarterback the rest of the way, all the way up through high school. What might surprise some folks is the fact that football was not even his best sport. Kaepernick played football, basketball, and baseball at John H. Pitman High School, with baseball being the sport that brought him his first scholarship opportunity. A 90-plus fastball and being tall are a recipe for a big league hurler. As much as Kaepernick loved playing baseball, football was what flowed through his veins.
His high school football career might have been much more if he had been given the opportunity to run the football. His coach thought he would get hurt because he was so thin, so he was just asked to handoff and pass. Even with those restrictions, Kaepernick found his niche, throwing for 15 touchdowns his junior year. It was his senior year that he excelled, passing for 25 scores while only throwing six interceptions. He was All Conference and a finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman in California. With all of that, he garnered no scholarship offers.
It was not till a late December basketball game he played in that the University of Nevada decided to give him an opportunity. It was a decision that they never regretted. Kaepernick would take the Wolfpack to new heights during his four years in Nevada. He did not play his first year until four games in, when the starting quarterback went down for the season with an injury. He would end up winning WAC Freshman
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