Jared Goff Foregoing Senior Season, Entering NFL Draft


Cal Bears’ quarterback Jared Goff has announced his intentions to skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

As expected, California Golden Bears’ quarterback Jared Goff will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, as he announced in a press conference Thursday morning. Goff came to his decision after “much deliberation with his family and friends”. The 21-year-old quarterback is considered one of the top prospects at the position in this draft class, and could end up being a top-five pick next year.

Goff, who was visibly emotional during his press conference, said “it would be nearly impossible to thank everyone”, but began with former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford, expressing his gratitude for the initial offer to play for the Bears, the team he grew up rooting for. Afterwards, he would thank his head coach, Sonny Dykes, and his offensive coordinator, Tony Franklin, saying he “wouldn’t be anywhere close to where he is”.

After Goff spoke, ending with being “incredibly proud…to be able to call myself a Golden Bear for life”, Cal Athletic Director Michael Williams took the floor. Speaking on behalf of the Bears, Williams praised Goff, telling him “we will always be proud of you” as he continues his football journey at the next level. He ended with “thank you for being a role model, and playing such a role in turning our football program around”.

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Goff ended his tenure at Cal on an extremely high note, leading the Bears’ patented “Bear Raid” offense to a 55-36 win over the Air Force Falcons in the Armed Forces Bowl. For the Bears, it was their eight win of the season, surpassing their combined win total of six from the past two seasons. The Bowl win was the team’s first since 2008, and thus, the first of Goff’s college career.

The young quarterback leaves Cal as the school’s record-holder in just about every passing category imaginable. Over the course of his three years, he has set the school records for career completions (977), attempts (1,568), yards (12,195), and touchdowns (96). He also holds the single season records in each of those categories, with 341 completions in 2015, 530 pass attempts in 2013, 4,714 passing yards in 2015, and 43 touchdowns in 2015. His 2015 yardage and touchdown totals are both Pac-12 conference records.

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Goff, the local boy from Marin High School, was the key piece in the Bears’ turnaround. In head coach Sonny Dykes’ first season, 2013, he named the true freshman Goff his starting quarterback, making him the first true freshman in school history to start a season opener at quarterback. That year, the Bears won just once in 12 games with Goff under center.

The next season, the team started 4-1 in the first five games, but limped to the finish line with a 5-7 record. Goff took major steps forward, and his stock as a potential NFL quarterback shot up. His great junior campaign, which turned out to be his last as a college player, only made his stock skyrocket higher.

Next: Goff, Bears Down Air Force in Armed Forces Bowl

Goff will likely be put in the same situation in the NFL, being named the quarterback to help turn around a bad team, either by starting right away or by learning under the incumbent starting quarterback for a season or two. There are plenty of teams looking for a quarterback to lead them into the future, and Goff could be the one for them. Goff said he has “a million things” to learn to become successful in the NFL.