Cal football: 15 greatest quarterbacks in Golden Bears history

Jared Goff, California Golden Bears. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Jared Goff, California Golden Bears. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Riley, California Golden Bears
Kevin Riley, California Golden Bears. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Kevin Riley grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He was born in Portland, Oregon and played his high school ball at Beaverton High School in Beaverton, Oregon. Seen as the best Oregonian quarterback of his class, Riley would make his way down to Berkley to play for Jeff Tedford’s Golden Bears.

Riley didn’t play very much as a freshman in 2007, as he served as Nate Longshore’s backup throughout much of that campaign. He did, however, get a spot start against the Oregon State Beavers filling in for an injured Longshore. Riley threw for nearly 300 yards and a touchdown, rushing another one in himself. However, Cal would lose its homecoming game versus Oregon State.

As a sophomore in 2008, Riley would get more playing time, as he competed for playing time with Longshore on a more serious level. Riley played in 11 games that year, completing 50.7 percent of his passes for 1,360 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. With Longshore having exhausted his eligibility after the 2008 campaign, Riley would be the unquestioned starter beginning in 2009.

During his junior year in 2009, Riley led the Golden Bears to the Poinsettia Bowl, where they played the Utah Utes. Riley completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 2,850 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions, playing in 13 games that season.

Riley entered his senior season as the Golden Bears starter again, despite his ups and downs as a quarterback. He completed 60.0 percent of his passes for 1,409 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. Riley would suffer a season-ending injury eight games into the year and thus his Cal career came to an end.

He would go undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft. Riley briefly spent time with the BC Lions of the CFL but didn’t make the team out of camp. Riley finished his four-year career at Cal with 6,182 passing yards, 50 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He ranks sixth in Cal history in touchdowns, eighth in passing yards, eighth in yards per attempt (min. 300) at 7.3 and ninth in career completions.