That sent Hughes on a research project. Kaepernick regularly threw 90 mph in high school, but was now some 40 pounds heavier as a college football player.
He certainly would throw harder.
“So, I was definitely intrigued, bigger, stronger, more athletic,” Hughes said. “Colin had no idea we were even considering drafting him. I kind of caught him off guard when I called him after we drafted him. He kind of got a kick out of it and said his phone was ringing off the hook that he’d been drafted by the Cubs. He had no idea.”
Then-Nevada coach Chris Ault had the challenge of developing Kaepernick’s football motion — and that wasn’t an easy task with the QB having been a pitcher.
“His first two years he was a thrower from his pitching days. It was all sidearm,” Ault said. “That was a habit we had to break. You could see his throwing motion, timing and touch was there. His senior year I saw the whole package. He was a guy ready for the NFL who could do all things they’d like him to do plus run. Now I look at him with the Niners and Jim and those guys are doing a super job. He has all the throws. What I really enjoy watching is he really learned to put the touch on the ball when he has to.”
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh can appreciate the Cubs’ attempt to recruit Kaepernick to baseball.
“He’s a man for all seasons,” Harbaugh said. “Tremendous football player, basketball player, baseball player, a tremendous athlete with a lot of gifts of God. And a tremendous competitive fire, readiness and willingness to compete, to be able to make cool-headed decisions under fire. Who wouldn’t want a player like that in baseball or football?”