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Cal Spring Practice Update: Zach Kline Makes a Push for the Starting Role

Sonny Dykes says he likes what he's seen from Zach Kline during the last two practices. Is he closing in on the starting role?


We're in the final week of practice and it looks like the QB position continues to be a fierce competition. After having a slight edge over the first couple weeks, Jared Goff may be facing a serious challenge from Zach Kline. Sonny Dykes says he likes what he has seen from redshirt freshman over the past two practices.

"Looks a little bit like Zach Kline is starting to get a little bit more settled in," Dykes said of the redshirt freshman from San Ramon Valley High. "I’ve seen him kind of make a move here over the last two practices."

Kline, freshman Jared Goff and junior Austin Hinder have battled throughout the spring and shared reps. Cal has two more practices — Wednesday and Friday — before closing down for the off-season with its spring game on Saturday.

Asked if he has any clarity on the quarterback picture, Dykes initially said, "I’m liking what I’m seeing from all of them."

Then he singled out Kline.

"His reads are happening a little faster, seems like he’s a little more accurate on his mid-range throws than he was," Dykes said. "I saw some of that in the scrimmage Saturday and it carried over to practice today.

"I think he’s improved and getting better and better. It’s good to see that."

Here's the coach's post-practice interview, in case any of you body language experts want to see if you can read further between the lines..

Nick Forbes was available for comment after Monday's session.

Valued reader Bearly Legal had these thoughts from Monday's session

Not a lot of things to report today, but here's a quick recap:

1. The defense showed some exotic looks today, which made life difficult for the offense. We’re done with the offense going against vanilla defenses, apparently.

2. Quarterbacks looked OK, although it was tough sledding all day for the O in general. Hinder looked a little behind the other two. Kline is looking better and better, for what it’s worth.

3. It’s also a tough competition for the scout team QB slot. Right now D’Amato seems to be ahead of Mahalic by a hair.

4. Goff took a funny tumble going for a reception against Mahalic while they were horsing around. We all got a good chuckle out of that. Clearly, Mahalic is developing nicely into a shutdown corner.

5. Two more fights today. All that MMA training is really coming in handy. Look out, Anderson Silva.

6. Tyndall with a cast on his lower leg. Not good. Kam also out today.

7. Treggs went to work on the defensive backs during one on one drills. The absence of Kam helps, but they just can’t cover him. Not even close.

8. Lawler with a long reception from Kline in 11s. He also dropped a couple though.

9. The Dykes fam was out there today. The daughters were having fun running around on the field, and the QBs chatted with them after practice.

10. And yes, real physical, flying around, etc.

And now for the tweets.

It sounds like Brendan's knee is making progress.

Kam Jackson remains out with a "headache." Hopefully it's not a concussion.

As usual, Nam was tweeting up a storm.

Players aren't the only ones healing up. Coach Buh's shoulder is getting better.

Time to read the QB tea leaves: Boehm was not initially with the QBs.

Instead Boehm started the day with the WRs, although he later went back to practicing with the QBs. I'm not sure what to make of it.

Zach Kline sounds like he had the best performance of all the QBs on Monday.

Jared Goff was first in 11-on-11s (which probably doesn't mean anything)..

The team showed some pistol sets with Goff.

Nam kept an eye on some new developments on defense. Now that Coach Buh is out of the sling, he's installing some new looks.

It looks like we may have a new scout team QB from an unlikely candidate.

Vince is battling with the senior citizen of the tea, Joey Mahalic..

For the first time all spring Dykes unveiled a jumbo package. No word on what kind of play they ran from the package, however..

And finally, the players continue to use their boxing skills.

We only have three practices left. Will Kline be able to seize the role or will he and Goff take the battle into August?