The pride of Turlock is now an ESPY Award-winning athlete.
Colin Kaepernick, a Pitman High School graduate and quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, took home the Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award Tuesday night, given out in a star-studded award show held at the Nokia Center in Los Angeles.
“My first espy!” tweeted Kaepernick shortly after winning the award. “Thank you to my family, my teammates, and the 49ers! #grateful #GoldenStateofMind”
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 broke out during the the 2012 NFL season, after entering the year as a backup quarterback. But Kap had a chance to showcase the skills that allowed him to set all-time NCAA records when he 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 defeated stern competition to take home the ESPY award. He was selected as the winner following an online fan vote.
The Pitman High product's bested “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 also defeated 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.