Cal Bears: Jared Goff is a Heisman Contender


The Cal Bears football program is known for producing some of the best NFL talent. In recent history, both Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch graduated from there. Now entering his junior season, and third as a starter, Jared Goff could potentially win the Heisman Trophy.

Unfortunately, the Cal Bears haven’t seen a winning season recently, but that could change with Goff’s development as a third year starter. It’s honestly surprising that they haven’t had a winning record in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Goff threw for over 3,500 yards in both of those campaigns, but the team’s defense allowed an excessive amount of points.

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Let’s take a look at Jared Goff’s improvement from his freshman to sophomore year for a moment. He threw for 3,508 yards in 2013 and 3,973 yards in 2014. In regards to touchdown passes, he threw for 18 in 2013 and a much greater 35 in 2014. If Goff keeps up this pace, he could have over 4,000 passing yards and 40 touchdown passes this season.

Most college football fans should know that Marcus Mariota won the Heisman in 2014, and Jameis Winston won it in 2013. In Mariota’s 2014 award year, he threw for 4,454 yards with 42 touchdown passes. Winston threw for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdown passes in 2013. Jared Goff experienced great improvement through his first two seasons, so there’s no reason that he can’t produce similar numbers to the past two Heisman winners in his 2015 season.

If Jared Goff increases his stats to those Heisman numbers, then he should definitely be in the conversation for the award. However, he should absolutely win it if he leads the recently struggling Cal to at least 10 wins.

You might be thinking that Goff isn’t nearly as strong of a runner as Winston and Mariota. Mariota was especially good last year with 770 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. However, Jared Goff is more of a classic pocket passer than both Winston and Mariota.

In a sense, Goff’s style is more “NFL ready” than the other two QBs. Goff certainly won’t put up rushing yards, but his clean pocket passing with tons of yards and touchdowns should earn him that Heisman trophy. If Goff gains more national attention this season, he could also be a first round draft pick.

Compared to Winston and Mariota, Jared Goff definitely isn’t as popular or widely known. However, it would be great for college football if the Heisman Award went to a traditional pocket passer like Goff. Actually, the past five Heisman winners have all been running QBs. Mariota, Winston, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III, and Cam Newton were all quarterbacks that loved to take off and run.

Jared Goff is a stark opposite to all of them. In two seasons with Cal, Jared Goff actually has a negative rushing yardage total because of how sacks don’t go against passing yards in college.

Goff might not open up plays by running outside the pocket, but his abilities as a pure passer are truly special. Hopefully, Goff doesn’t feel any pressure to turn into a runner because other successful QBs have used pocket passing with selective mobility in great ways.

Honestly, Jared Goff could become a lot like the ex-Cal Bear, Aaron Rodgers. As we’ve seen for a number of years, Rodgers has perfected the ability to be a mobile QB in the pocket. He has the great ability to create small gaps between himself and defenders in order to pass the ball quickly down the field.

Jared Goff will be the undeniable top Heisman candidate if he truly perfects his pocket passing talents.

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