It seemed nothing short of poetic when the San Francisco 49ers traded up in the 2011 NFL Draft to nab Colin Kapernick, the profusely athletic hometown hero from the University of Nevada by way of California’s Pitman High School. But the buzz largely subsided when Kaepernick spent most of his rookie season backing up Alex Smith and watching as the 49ers made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game.
2012 started out much the same way, with the potential-packed Kaepernick clutching a clipboard as the Niners bolted to a 6-2 start. But everything changed during San Francisco’s Week 10 game against the St. Louis Rams, when Kaepernick relieved an injured Smith in a game that eventually ended in a 24-24 tie. Three weeks later, the only thing Kaepernick is clutching now is the 49ers’ starting quarterback job.
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