Colin Kaepernick dreamed of becoming a professional football player. He once wrote a letter in the fourth grade detailing the outlook of his life, or as much as a nine or ten year old can actually grasp the future. He was going “to a good college”, then on “to the pros to play for the Niners”.
And this is just the beginning of the unbelievable story.
Kaepernick would go on to a fine institution, the University of Nevada, as he predicted. He would go on to set an NCAA record as the only player to ever throw for over 10,000 yards and also rush for 4,000 in his collegiate career. He ran the pistol offense and led the Wolfpack to a 13-1 record in his senior season.
He was a NFL prospect entering the draft, but not necessarily a prized one. Then again, his note some ten years prior didn’t specify the magnitude of him impact in college, nor did it truly evaluate the allure of his ability and potential to a professional football organization.
But here is where the story gets good.
Jim Harbaugh wasn’t a fourth grader, but rather a first year NFL head coach with the San Francisco 49ers. They were comparable novices, all things considered. What each knew, or said they comprehended, would shape the future and Super Bowl on Sunday.
Jack, Jim’s father recalled Wednesday, said he, “called on his way home and he asked what I thought about the [2011 NFL] draft. We didn’t have much to talk about as it relates to the draft, but he had not expressed to me who they were thinking about drafting at the quarterback position so I said ‘Jim, tomorrow in the second round, surely you’re going to draft a quarterback, but which one is it going to be?’”
Harbaugh himself had worked out Kaepernick before the draft, being a former NFL quarterback himself, he challenged Kaepernick to a passing contest and loved what he saw. It was no secret, San Francisco had given up their second, fourth and fifth round picks to Denver to move into a position to make their obvious selection.
The conversation continued: “And it was dead silent. [Jim] said ‘Are you talking to anybody?’ and [Jack] said ‘I swear I’m not talking to anyone.’ He said ‘we’re drafting Colin Kaepernick. Do I not only think that he’s the best quarterback in the draft, I think he’s the best football player in the draft and we’re going with Colin Kaepernick.’”
They took him 36th overall, satisfying the fourth-graders wish. Now Kaepernick, the 49ers a win away from the Lombardi Trophy, is proving Harbaugh’s words to be not-so-serendipitous as well.