Former Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine this week.
The second-year, 25-year-old San Francisco 49ers quarterback is pictured on the cover with a small head shot of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, mouth agape and eyes bulging in disbelief, at the lower left-hand corner of the photo. The cover for this week's issue reads: "HOLY .... SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP, JIM - YOU WERE DEAD ON ABOUT COLIN KAEPERNICK."
Back in November, it was Harbaugh who decided to keep Kaepernick as the 49ers' starter after Alex Smith missed action with a concussion. Harbaugh's move was questioned by some (though probably not many in Wolf Pack nation), as Smith led the NFC in passing efficiency at the time of his injury and had quarterbacked San Francisco to the 2012 NFC championship game.
Kaepernick, who graduated from the University in December 2010 with a degree in business, has won six of eight starts, including last weekend's resounding 45-31 victory over Green Bay in the second round of the NFL playoffs. In that game, Kapernick, as he had done so many times for the Wolf Pack during his four years as starter, was effective both through the air (263 yards, two touchdowns) and on the ground (an NFL quarterback rushing record of 181 yards, two touchdowns).
A spot on Sports Illustrated's cover is considered one of the prime pieces of sports journalism real estate. Kaepernick joins such sports luminaries as Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and another 49er quarterback of some note, Joe Montana as past SI cover subjects.
Kaepernick and his 49er teammates travel to Atlanta on Sunday for the NFC championship game and a spot in the Super Bowl.