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Kaepernick spurned Cubs to continue football career

The SportsXchange

Colin Kaepernick drew the attention of major league baseball scouts as a senior in high school in Turlock, Calif.

He could throw in the 90s and he had tossed two no-hitters. There were baseball scholarships and interest from some major league teams. The Chicago Cubs were particularly intrigued and interested enough to draft Kaepernick in the 43rd round of the 2009 amateur draft.

But by that time, Kaepernick was enrolled at the University of Nevada and had a dream of being an NFL quarterback. Less than two weeks from Super Bowl XLVII, it's apparent he made the right decision.

But Kaepernick was never too serious about attempting a baseball career.

Shortly after becoming the 49ers starter this season Kaepernick told MLB.com that football had always been his real passion.

"Out of high school, if I got a football scholarship, that's what I was going to do," Kaepernick said. "That was part of my scholarship deal with Nevada. I told them, 'If I sign here, I won't enter the Major League Draft.' So, I declined it out of high school and actually got drafted three years later when I hadn't picked up a baseball in three years."

Cubs' crosschecker Sam Hughes told ESPN on Wednesday that Kaepernick was shocked and flattered that he had been selected. The Cubs' scouting report on Kaepernick said he was "a big, strong kid who would develop in time if he concentrated on baseball.

"It appears he made the right choice," Hughes said.

The Cubs tried to convince the 6-foot-6 right-hander to play in a short-season rookie league, but to no avail. Kaepernick wanted to remain committed to his teammates in Reno and "stay the course."

Hughes told ESPN that he and Kaepernick remain in touch.

"He's the same kid he was back then. He hasn't changed a bit."

One thing that has changed is Kaepernick's fame. He gained so much attention for his biceps-kissing celebration that he is attempting to trademark the phrase "Kaepernicking." ESPN.com reported that the quarterback filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to use the phrase on clothing.
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