The million dollar question this offseason other than "Which coaches will be employed?" is the future of Zach Kline at Cal. The once-proclaimed Golden Boy is now openly wondering about his future as the end of the football season looms.
In an interview after practice Tuesday, the redshirt freshman from Danville never used the word "transfer."
But with freshman Jared Goff having started every game for the Bears this season, Kline finds himself asking a key question.
"That's definitely the core of the thing -- is there an opportunity?" he said. "It's always been a dream of mine to play and start as a college football quarterback and I want that opportunity here. But it's something I definitely have to think about: Am I going to get that opportunity here?"
It's been an odd situation since the beginning. Once Allan Bridgford transferred this spring, almost everyone expected Kline to be the starter coming into fall camp. Yes, Jared Goff showed a lot of potential, but Goff was a true freshman and didn't quite have the body or development that you'd like to see out of your signal-caller. Kline had a year under the ropes and seemed like the more ready-to-go talent.
But it was Goff who won the job. It's Goff who will conclude the 2013 season having started all 12 games. It's Goff who will be the likely de facto starter coming spring. It's Goff who set plenty of passing records at Cal for single games and single seasons in all sorts of categories.
Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin--who Sonny Dykes generally lets call the shots on offense seems to have his choice. Goff executes his system better. Goff is more accurate. Goff has an ability to nail the short throws. Goff can throw his arm out all game if the coaching staff asks him to do so.
So that leaves Kline in a strange situation. He loves Berkeley. He loves the school. He would love to get a degree here. And I'm sure more than anything he'd love to be Cal's starting quarterback next fall when the schedule eases up
But he still has three years left of eligibility, and he has all the potential to develop into a capable pro-style quarterback. If he can't beat out Goff this spring, what will be the next step for him?
What would you do if you were Zach?