Colin Kaepernick, a Pitman High School graduate and the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, has been named as a candidate for one of the most prestigious awards in sports.
Kaepernick is one of five finalist for the Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award.
The ESPY Awards, an acronym for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards, are roughly equivalent to a Grammy, Emmy, or Academy Award for sports. The awards have been given out annually by cable TV sports network ESPN since 1993.
Kaepernick started the 2012 NFL season as a backup quarterback, but took command of the San Francisco 49ers after former starter Alex Smith suffered a concussion in week 11. Kaepernick went on to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl, setting playoff records in the process.
Kaepernick faces stern competition for the Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award.
The Pitman High product's performance will be rated against that of “Mr. Football” Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, Los Angeles Dodgers phenom outfielder Yasiel Puig, and 2012 American League Rookie of the Year and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout. Kaepernick will also square off against NFC West division opponent Russell Wilson, the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks who set rookie records in 2012.
Last year Jeremy Lin, then-point guard of the New York Knicks, won the award. The last NFL quarterback to win the award was Matt Ryan, of the Atlanta Falcons, in 2008.
Kaepernick's potential ESPY award is now in fans' hands. ESPY victors are chosen by an online fan vote.
Voting ends at 6 p.m. July 17, just as the award show will start on ESPN.
To vote for Kaepernick, visit http://espn.go.com/espys/2013/vote/?id=9402507&lang=en.