San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's offseason in the spotlight continued Wednesday night when he prevailed over NFC West rival Russell Wilson and three others for the "Best Breakthrough Athlete" award at the ESPYs.
"Breakout" might be a better word to describe what Kaepernick did during the 2012 season. He went from afterthought to breakout player, and no one could have seen it coming. The concussion Alex Smith suffered against St. Louis cleared the way for Kaepernick to start against Chicago, and when Kaepernick shined against the Bears, coach Jim Harbaugh left him in the lineup for good.
Kaepernick played a leading role in the 49ers reaching the Super Bowl. He's been all over the place this offseason, including in the nude as part of the "Body Issue" published by ESPN The Magazine. He's stirred passions by wearing a Miami Dolphins hat in public and shooting down those who would question him. Now, with an ESPY on his résumé, Kaepernick is in the spotlight again.
Or did he ever leave?