One truth I’ve learned over the years is that there is no such thing as an overnight sensation. Whoever it is in the spotlight has been working for years to get there, we are just not always aware of their journey.
I first met 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2009 when the Irish shut out Nevada 35-0 in Notre Dame’s season opener. While the Wolf pack quarterback had a poor showing in South Bend, he was already paving the road that would lead to his coming out party tonight in an NFL Playoff game.
I went back through my notes from that game this morning and was surprised to read how good he already was when I first became aware of him in 2009. Here’s what I had written down about Colin:
2009 WAC preseason pick for offensive player of the year.
2008 Became only the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for more than 1,000 yards and run for more than 2,000 yards. (2,849 yards Passing, 22tds, 7ints, 1130 y rushing, 15 scores)
Head coach Chris Ault on Colin: “you only have to tell him once. His work ethic in the offseason has been monumental.”
Offensive Coordinator Chris Klenakis on Colin: “It doesn’t matter what you diagram on field, he can make it turn out well. He sees field well and has ability to make you miss. We are working on his completion %. (Completion percentage = 54.3% in 08) He’s worked on his release, on getting it out quicker and having a higher release point. Colin has worked hard on mechanics this summer. Every day he worked on it.”
Colin is from Milwaukee where his father is in the dairy business.
He licks fingers before passing the football because he says he needs to feel the ball in his hand. He needs to feel stickiness. Habit.
If you watch closely you’ll see Colin still licks his fingers before every play. Some things are there for a long time before everyone else notices them.