49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 29, 2011
Niners trade for Nevada QB Kaepernick

The 49ers traded up in the second round with Denver to select Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick had a private workout on March 18 in Reno that was attended by Jim Harbaugh, general manager Trent Baalke and the top offensive coaches. Kaepernick now becomes the 49ers' quarterback of the future. His second-round status, however, means the 49ers have the luxury of not starting him his rookie year.

The 49ers swapped second-round picks with the Broncos and also sent one of their fourth-round picks (108 overall) and a fifth-round pick (141 overall) in the deal. On Thursday the 49ers reportedly explored trading into the first round for Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, who grew up in Turlock, is full of potential. He's tall, strong-armed and he scored 59 rushing touchdowns in four seasons at Nevada. He is the only player in NCAA history to throw for more than 10,000 yards and run for more than 4,000 yards. Here's a story I wrote on Kaepernick earlier this year.

Kaepernick said that Harbaugh was very "hands on" during last month's workout. "He was very energetic with everything he was doing," Kaepernick said. "He's the type of coach that just gets you excited to play the game."

Harbaugh also had no issues with Kaepernick's elongated throwing motion, which some have said was a reason why he'd be a poor fit in Harbaugh's West Coast offense. Kaepernick has been working to shorten his throwing motion since Nevada's season ended. "Coach Harbaugh was actually the first coach to tell me it looked good," Kaepernick said. "I think he was worried about whether I get the ball out quickly or not. When he told me that, I was very excited about it."

Kaepernick has an uplifting story. He was born in 1987 to a 19-year-old single mother in Milwaukee who didn't think she could raise him properly, so she put him up for adoption. Meanwhile, in New London, Wis., Rick and Teresa Kaepernick had two healthy children before losing two baby boys to heart defects. They adopted Colin when he was 5 weeks old.

He said today that his Wisconsin roots meant that he and his extended family -- he has a host of doting aunts and uncles -- are Packers fans but that "everyone in my family just changed fans in an instant."

Kapernick said he met Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck at the Manning Passing camp last summer and that the two have stayed in touch. "So I have a little bit of an inside scoop from him on coach Harbaugh," he said. "I was very excited when my name got called by the 49ers."

Harbaugh is expected to talk about the pick after the 49ers make their third-round selection.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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