an Francisco 49ers phenom Colin Kaepernick has come from nowhere to become one of the most exciting players in the NFL. The second-year quarterback with a rifle adjustable rate mortgage and incredible speed set an NFL playoff record for hurrying yards by a quarterback in the 49ers’ rout of the Green Bay Packers, and now his team is popular heading into a Super Bowl matchup with the gritty, veteran Baltimore Ravens. In a season dominated by first year sensations Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson, instantly it’s Colin Kaepernick who’s the particular toast of Super Bowl celebrations in New Orleans.
But Kaepernick’s football success has been hardly pre-ordained. He was riding the bench before starter Alex Smith got injured earlier this year, and well before that, Kaepernick was a 2009 draft pick of baseball’s Chicago Cubs. Indeed, during senior high school in California, Kaepernick was an all-state pitcher, but elected to spurn baseball offers to pursue football. The Cubs still had taken a chance with a 43rd round pick, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
This storyline is far more common than you might think. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
1 . John Elway
The two-time Super Dish champion wasn’t always a Denver Bronco. He was once a young outfield and pitching prospect who was coveted by several baseball teams. Elway was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 18th round of the 1979 draft, but made a decision to attend Stanford instead. Elway continued to excel at both sports on campus, but it was football where he really stood out; he has been named the Pac-10 player from the year his sophomore and mature seasons. Still, the Yankees decided to give it one more shot, taking Elway in the second round of the 1981 draft. He played one season of minor league ball for that Bronx Bombers before returning to their preferred sport: football. The rest is usually history.
second . Dan Marino
Marino was also a Royals draft pick in 1979. But the hard-throwing quarterback made a decision against life on the pitching mound, and instead chose to take the route toward the NFL by attending the particular University of Pittsburgh. He became the school’s starting quarterback almost immediately, and went on to become an All-American in his junior year. Also, and then he became one of the greatest QBs in NFL history.
3. Tom Brady
Brady was selected in the 18th round of the 1995 write by the Montreal Expos. The Patriots QB would have played catcher. Yet he never seemed to seriously entertain the offer, choosing to play soccer at the University of Michigan instead. Still, the Expos& reportedly did not back off. They invited him to go to batting practice with the team to see whether they could coerce him to change his mind. Of course , Brady produced the right decision. He’s a three-time Super Bowl champion.
4. Michael Vick
Vick was so strong and fast that the Colorado Rockies tried to get him to play football. They took him in the thirtieth round of the 2000 draft — even though Vick hadn’t played football since middle school. It did not matter to Rockies scouting director Bill Schmidt who told Sports Illustrated: “When you can run like him, our feeling was he could include some ground for us in the outfield. I didn’t think it was a major investment at that point. If it didn’t exercise, we could take a chance. Michael Jordan attempted (baseball). Maybe he might want to make a run at it. ”
5. Russell Wilson
It really looked like Wilson was going to choose to play for the Rockies, which drafted him in the 4th round of the 2010 draft. But when Wilson struggled in the minors for two seasons, he thought better of his decision and returned to football, playing at Wisconsin before getting selected in the third round of last year’s draft from the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson then surprised the world by winning the starting job in training camp, and leading the Seahawks to an unlikely playoff run.
6. Daunte Culpepper
Culpepper was a three-time Pro Dish selection for the Minnesota Vikings. When his NFL career, he has been such a strong athlete that the Yankees picked him in the 1995 write. Indeed, once his football career was done, speculation sprang up that Culpepper might return to the particular mound for an encore. But for much better or worse, Culpepper seems carried out with both baseball and football.
7. Jake Locker
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took Locker in the 10th round of the 2009 draft. Locker, a highly touted outfield prospect, appeared to be on board with that plan, signing an agreement with the team. But Locker declined to rule out football. Indeed, Locker thought better of his decision, and returned to college football in 2011. Waiting around those two years actually hurt Locker’s stock, as he struggled in his mature year at the University of Washington, and fell to the eighth general pick in 2011. He now starts (and struggles) for the Tennessee Titans. When all else fails, of course , baseball is a fallback for Locker: The Angels have him signed until Aug 2015.