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Jim Harbaugh: Colin Kaepernick 'savant-like' for 49ers

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are out. Russell Wilson has moved on to the divisional round. But there's one explosive, young quarterback who hasn't been in the spotlight as late.

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Colin Kaepernick isn't a rookie, but he's less experienced as a starter than any of the players above. He's leading a veteran-laden team that is ready to make the Super Bowl right now. He was hand-picked over Alex Smith in the middle of a season that already was going well. And San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh believes Kaepernick is ready for this moment.

"I think it'll be a big challenge. And one that Colin is very excited about," Harbaugh said Monday, via Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "He's so far -- now it's early -- but expectations will be high that he will be on it as well.

"He's got a good grasp of the game plan so far. I'm excited that he's ... it's a bit savant-like, you know, the way he's handling it so far this week. So that's really encouraging."

Savant-like. That's a description you want to hear about your young quarterback.

"Just that it's so early in the preparation and so early in explaining the game plan, but just his understanding of it this early in the week," Harbaugh said of Kaepernick. "The way he's understanding it is savant-like, yeah."

There are so many fascinating angles in the 49ers-Green Bay Packers matchup. Kaepernick's performance on a big stage -- and how Harbaugh will use his savant-like skills -- ranks right near the top.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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