This past week Pitman High School quarterback Colin Kaepernick of Turlock committed to Nevada. Kaepernick brings a variety of skills to the Wolfpack.
Kaepernick is a successful three sport athlete, who plays football, basketball and baseball. Last season, in basketball, Kaepernick was the team captain and 2nd team All-Region. This season Kaepernick is averaging just over thirteen points a game. In baseball, Kaepernick was an All-Conference pitcher and second team All-State. Going into this season, Kaepernick will be one of the top returning pitchers in northern California.
As a football player, Kaepernick has started since his sophomore year. This past season he guided the Pride to an 8-4 record and a playoff berth. Statistically, the stat that stands out the most regarding Kaepernick is that over the past two seasons he has thrown forty touchdowns to only ten interceptions. In watching film of Kaepernick, many positives emerge. The first and most obvious is the fact that he is a legitimate 6'5. At any level of football, that size in a QB is tough to find. Second, Kaepernick has a live arm and a quick release. Once he makes up his mind he gets rid of the ball ASAP. Third, Kaepernick's athleticism shows in the pocket and on the field. He stays tall and on the balls of his feet in the pass game while delivering the ball. Further, Kaepernick has escapabilty. I would not classify him as a running quarterback but he does have the ability to not only buy himself time but to scramble for positive yardage and the occasional big play. Along with this, he seems equally comfortable rolling out as he does in a straight drop back. Lastly, certain subtle skills have helped Kaepernick. As a young QB, Kaepernick does a solid job of looking off defensive backs. Often high school QBs lock on in the huddle. For the most part, Kaepernick overcomes this tendency. Also, due to his team using the Wing T offense, Kaepernick is extremely comfortable in play action. Many of his passes come off of play action and Kaepernick does a nice job.
In watching Kaepernick only small critiques emerge. Although 6'5 Kaepernick is a tremendously skinny 190 pounds also his release is similar to that of many QBs that are baseball pitchers. He does not have the traditional high by the ear release of a QB. Next season as Kaepernick for the first time concentrates on only football both of these small issues will be easily fixed. A full time college weight program should put twenty pounds on quickly and work with the Nevada staff should tweak any small shortcomings in his throwing motion.
With all of this, what may be most important to Kaepernick's success at Nevada are his intangibles. Kaepernick is a 4.0 student and close to the top of his class at Pitman. This intelligence carries over and is evident from his play on the field. Also his three sport experience has taught him to compete at a high level in a variety of formats.