Golden Nuggets: Which Quarterback Will Impress the Coaches this Spring?

Next week the coaches will begin the team's most important evaluation heading into next season: finding a starting quarterback.  Brock Mansion and Beau Sweeney have the experience, Allan Bridgford has the talent, and Zach Maynard has a bit of everything.  Who will be taking first reps by the end of spring?

Considering Mansion didn’t make the most of last year’s opportunity and Sweeney was on the decline, it seems experience may not be that important, at least not in this case. That means Bridgford and Maynard will have a golden opportunity to be in the mix for the job. Bridgford came to Cal with big press clippings, just like so many other quarterbacks that have made their way to Berkeley in recent years. That implies the talent and potential is there. And while he hasn’t been around as long as Mansion or Sweeney, this will be Bridgford’s third year in the program so he should have at least a mental grasp of the offense. But Bridgford missed all of his redshirt season and last spring because of a shoulder injury, so that may have set him back a bit.

Maynard appears to be the big wild card. He has starting experience at the FBS level when he was at Buffalo two years ago. But unlike guys like Bridgford or Mansion, he wasn’t a hot-shot prospect. Recruiting is an inexact science so that may not mean much — the bottom line will be how he performs once on the field.

What intrigues Tedford about Maynard is his ability to run, something he demonstrated at Buffalo. Tedford has talked more and more recently about the need to incorporate more spread elements into the offense with a quarterback who can run, and Maynard may be a good fit for that. Arroyo also has a spread background.

Maynard is a big uncertainty, however. When the team takes the field  for practice next Tuesday, it will be Maynard’s first organized practice at Cal. He hasn’t practiced in front of the coaches at all. The learning curve will be steep.

Tedford said he’d like to have the field narrowed to three by the end of spring and have the competition continue in training camp. Next Tuesday will mark the beginning of the process.

After the jump baseball sweeps Ohio State and Brittany Spears (you read that correctly) has a career day as Colorado knocks Cal out of the NIT.

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