The "Johnny Football" of the NFL

By Malachi Killgore on February 6, 2013

As Colin Kaepernick prepares for his first ever appearance in a super bowl this Sunday, its safe to say that the rocket armed athlete could finally reveal the true potential for all dual threat quarterbacks in college and the NFL.

Kaepernick, current starter for the San Francisco 49ers, was a widely unheard of prospect coming out of high school.  The Wisconsin native only received one scholarship offer to play football at Nevada, though he received an abundance of offers to play baseball in college, as well as being drafted by the Major Leagues.

“Out of high school, if I got a football scholarship, that’s what I was going to do,”  revealed Kaepernick when interviewed by Carrie Muskat of, “That was part of my scholarship deal with Nevada. I told them, “If I sign here, I won’t enter the Major League Draft.”

This decision proved to be the right one as Kaepernick’s skills excelled both in the passing game and running, accounting for more then 10,000 yards through the air and just above 4,000 yards rushing.

However, these numbers combined with the size and strength of the Nevada quarterback at 6-4, 230 lbs, revealed an up-and-coming star that possessed the frame of a prototypical NFL quarterback and athleticism of a track star.


Former Nevada coach Chris Ault remembered seeing potential in Kaepernick’s unique build, “I thought to myself, ‘If he can’t play quarterback, he looks like he’s a good enough athlete that he could play free safety or wide receiver,” suggested Ault, “He could have been a great free safety, without question.”

As fate would have it, Kaepernick ended his career at Nevada as one of the most prolific athletes to ever play at the school, finishing his career as a two time WAC Offensive Player of the Year (2007 & 2008), Humanitarianism Bowl MVP (2008), and WAC champion in his final year at Nevada (2010).

Though overlooked by all 32 teams in the first round of the NFL draft, it would not take long until he would be selected by Jim Harbaugh, coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh revealed to his dad the night before the second round of the draft via the Sacramento Bee that he would be selecting Kapernic. “I not only think he’s the best quarterback in the draft, I think that he’s the best football player in the draft,” Jim told him, “And we’re going with Colin Kaepernick.”

Soon after a rookie year spent on the sidelines as the starter in waiting behind Alex Smith, Kaepernick received the nod for the starting role. After Smith had come down with concussion like symptoms following a regular season game, Harbaugh announced Kaepernick as the temporary starter, eventually becoming his permanent role.

Kaepernick never looked back after receiving his opportunity for the number one job. Accounting for a passing ratio of ten throwing touchdowns to just three interceptions, Kaepernick made the quarterback role look simple. In his first five starts, the Nevada product amassed just over 1,800 yards passing, 400 yards rushing, along with five rushing scores, and a QB rating of 98.3.

“There’s no limitation to what these offensive coordinators can design for those quarterbacks,” CBS lead color commentator Phil Simms said, regarding the rise of big dual threat QB’s, “Physically, they’re capable of doing so many tremendous things.”

With a dominating run playoff run accomplished by Kaepernick this year on the road to Super Bowl 47, one could only think this is only the beginning of what dual threat quarterbacks are capable of.

“Colin is extremely talented at the read-option, he’s extremely talented throwing the football as well,” Harbaugh expressed, “There are a lot of options we could go.”



By Malachi Killgore

Uloop Writer
I'm a graduate at Texas A&M. I'm originally from San Antonio, Texas. I love covering sports and football is my passion. I like spending time with my family, traveling, and meeting new people. My faith in Jesus is my life, to him be the glory!!

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