The San Francisco 49ers found a future starting quarterback by selecting Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
But before Kaepernick would ever play in a Super Bowl or sign a lengthy contract extension, the dynamic signal-caller experienced what every major college football prospect is going through on Wednesday.
The famed offseason event known as National Signing Day.
Kaepernick wasn't the biggest recruit coming out of Pitman High School in Turlock, Calif. But even so, Kaepernick, a three-star prospect, showed enough promise to be given a scholarship to the University of Nevada. According to his Rivals.com prospect bio, Kaepernick was being recruited by Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, UTEP and Wyoming.
He ultimately excelled for the Wolfpack. Kaepernick became the first quarterback in Division I football to pass for more than 10,000 yards and rush for more than 4,000 yards. In the pros, Kaepernick has thrown for 8,415 yards and rushed for 1,576 yards in four seasons.
Being a three-star recruit wasn't necessarily a bad thing for Kaepernick or many other college prospects. According to SB Nation, the starting players in Super Bowl XLIX averaged a 2.4 star rating as high schoolers. Neither team had a five-star recruit in the starting lineup.
As for Kaepernick's recruitment, Greg Biggins covered his announcement for Rivals.com.
Every year we come across a player or two that we feel have major talent but for whatever reason, end up being under-recruited. One of those guys this year was Turlock (Calif.) Pitman quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The signal caller went almost the whole year without a single scholarship offer but recently picked up offer No. 1 and jumped on it.
"I committed to Nevada earlier today," Kaepernick said. "I'm going to take my official visit there this weekend but I decided to go ahead and commit to them and just end the recruiting process. I camped there in the summer so it's not like I had never been there before. I like the coaching staff there a lot and there was no reason to put my decision off.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick played both baseball and football growing up around his siblings.
"I like Coach Ault a lot and that offense is going to be a lot of fun to play in. I think it suits me well. It's called the Pistol and it has the quarterback in the shotgun a lot and I'll be rolling out a lot and throwing on the run which is something I enjoy doing. It's sort of similar to the spread option that Florida runs but it's unique as well. *
- "Right now, the plan for me is to come in and redshirt my first year there and then compete for playing time as a redshirt freshman. I'm just relieved to have the decision out of the way. It was a tough year at times waiting to see if anyone would offer so I'm really relieved now and I'm excited to be going to Nevada. I think it's a great fit for me."*
- Kaepernick, 6-4, 175 pounds had a solid junior season but playing in a wing-t offense, really didn't get a chance to show what he could do. He looked good at the NorCal Nike camp and then really shined the following day at the EA SPORTS Elite 11 QB camp at Cal. *
- He then attended the final Elite 11 tryout in Las Vegas, a camp that was loaded with Div I prospects and was as impressive as anyone in attendance not named Matthew Stafford. Kaepernick has the strongest arm in the West region, has good mobility and a quick release. He comes highly recommended as well from highly touted QB guru Roger Theder and was a player we felt should have been recruited by schools all over the Western region.*
Check out Kaepernick's highlights at Pitman, courtesy of Rivals.com: