Cal Bears’ QB Jared Goff Ready for Upcoming Season


California Golden Bears‘ quarterback Jared Goff has had a busy offseason. The young gunslinger, entering his junior year, was recently named one of the 30 quarterbacks on the preseason watch list for the Manning Award, the NCAA’s annual award for the nation’s top quarterback.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Goff’s name is a familiar sight on a lot of preseason watch lists. He has also appeared on the lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s best player, and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.

It would be easy for Goff to start looking past the upcoming season and thinking about his future. He has a legitimate chance to be the first Cal Bears’ signal-caller to have his name called in the NFL Draft since Aaron Rodgers was taken 24th overall in 2005.

With all of these extra things trying to pry his focus, Goff is keeping his eyes on the prize.

“I’m not concerned about that right now,” Goff told Fox Sports last week. “I need to go out here and get better every day and win games and let that stuff happen when it happens. Now is not the time to make that decision.”

That should be music to Bears’ head coach Sonny Dykes’ ears. If Goff’s focus remains on the game ahead, rather than what happens after the season, Cal’s passing offense should be just as deadly as any in the nation, again.

More from Cal Bears

In 24 games in his first two season, Goff has been one of the top quarterbacks in the game. He’s thrown for 7,481 yards and 53 touchdowns while completing 61.2 percent of his throws, and has been intercepted just 17 times.

His sophomore year was incredible. He set school records for passing yards (3,973), passing touchdowns (35), 300-yard passing games (seven), and most consecutive passes without being intercepted (185). His 147.59 passer efficiency rating was the fourth-best in school history. He was fifth in the nation in touchdowns, yards, and passing yards per game (331.1).

The 2015 season has the potential to be even better for Goff. His receiving corps will be just about the same as he had last year, as four of his top five wide receiver targets will be returning for this upcoming season. Kenny Lawler (701 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014), Bryce Treggs (538 yards, six touchdowns), Trevor Davis (399 yards, five touchdowns), and Darius Powe (328 yards, one touchdown) will all be at Goff’s disposal next season.

In addition, tight end Stephen Anderson, who racked up 661 yards and five touchdowns, and running back Daniel Lasco, who caught for 356 yards and two touchdowns, will be returning for at least one more year. That means Goff will have six of his top seven receiving threats from last year surrounding him for the 2015 season.

And it’s not just the returning players who should have Cal fans excited for the upcoming year. The Golden Bears will have a few highly-touted freshmen receivers, including four-star recruit Carlos Strickland, who was one of the most sought-after receivers before Signing Day, and four-star recruit Jaylinn Hawkins, beginning their college football careers next year.

Cal hasn’t had a winning season since 2011, and are 9-27 over the past thee campaigns. Goff will be the biggest catalyst for turning that around. Cal has never had a Heisman Trophy winner. If Goff’s upward ascension continues, he could change that fact as well.

Goff’s stock is sky-high right now, but entering his junior year, it can still get higher. If his focus remains sharp, he could solidify himself as the next great Bears’ quarterback in the NFL.

Next: Blue Chip Freshmen Bring Hope for Bears' Basketball Team