After struggling to a 3-9 record with Zach Maynard under center in 2012, the Cal Golden Bears are looking to turn things around on offense with a new leader at the helm.
New head coach Sonny Dykes has three options to choose from. However, this is a good problem to have, considering the fact that all three look to be promising players with high ceilings.
Jared Goff, an incoming true freshman, is an intriguing prospect. The four-star stud stands in at 6’4”, but could use a bit more muscle on his 185-pound frame. The No. 21-ranked quarterback in the 2013 class was in Berkeley this spring, but he’ll still likely spend 2013 learning the ropes of the offense on the sideline.
If there is a veteran among the trio, it’s junior Austin Hinder. However, the 6’4” signal-caller has yet to attempt a pass with the Bears. He is certainly a promising option who is heading into his third year with the program, giving him a slight advantage over the younger options in terms of experience.
Nonetheless, the favorite seems to be Zach Kline, a local player from San Ramon Valley High who received high praise as a prospect two years ago. In fact, Rivals.com had him rated as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback.
After redshirting in 2012, he should be ready to take the reins of the offense. With good size for the position and a very strong arm, Kline has had a year in Berkeley to adjust to the college scene and get comfortable with his teammates.
The redshirt freshman had a strong showing this spring, and led the Bears to a nice touchdown drive at the end of the spring game. According to Jeff Faraudo of the Mercury News, Dykes seemed to be most impressed with Kline by the end of March:
“Looks a little bit like Zach Kline is starting to get a little bit more settled in,” Dykes said of the redshirt freshman.
“I’ve seen him kind of make a move here over the last two practices.”
Given, the plethora of young talent that the Bears have on offense, including wideouts Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper, Kline could turn this team into a potent offense over the next couple of seasons.
Keep an eye on the quarterback battle throughout fall camp. However, based on his overall talent and increased experience, expect Kline to enter that battle as the frontrunner.