While Jared Goff, Austin Hinder and Zach Kline battle it out for the starting gig, it's never too early to plan ahead for who might come after them. With the addition of Elite 11 QB Luke Rubenzer, Cal fans now get a glimpse into what that plan might actually be.
The Klindergoff trio are all still young, making QB something more of a luxury in this recruiting class, rather than an immediate need - and as a result, the staff hadn't offered too many quarterbacks for 2014 cycle. National recruiting experts seem to be signing off on this addition. Never hurts to have that seal of approval.
#Cal might be getting a steal in QB Luke Rubenzer. Undersized but big arm and great decision maker.— Adam Gorney (@adamgorney) June 14, 2013
Rivals: 3 star, 18th ranked dual-threat QB
247Sports: 3 star , 35th ranked dual-threat QB
I've attached specific highlights below, so just click the links to see which plays I'm talking about.
Sonny Dykes mentioned that his ideal quarterback would be able to move a little bit - not necessarily mobile to Manzielian proportions, but at least effective on the ground. Well, in Rubenzer, Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin will be getting a little better than "effective" - Rubenzer is a very, very good runner in the open field, and displays a knack for keeping the play alive. You're not often going to find a quarterback who is faster than defensive backs, but...he's one. Some of the runs are designed, some appear not to be, but it's pretty clear within a couple minutes of watching how the 6'0, 185 pound quarterback led all of Arizona in yardage last year, with an eyepopping total of 4045, with nearly 1200 of those on the ground.
Passing wise, he looks to have a very strong arm, and is extremely accurate on the deep ball. Most of them are hitting guys right in stride - and while he might not be strong as Kline, his arm strength is already definitely better than Hinder, and maybe even Goff. Okay, sure, a lot of these guys are pretty open, but still. One of the most impressive throws I saw was probably this one, and I'm not sure it even went for a completion. Here's another one, where he's backpedaling, and lofts it up about 40 yards anyway.
Rubenzer showcases some nice touch and accuracy on the move, too, but it's his arm strength and mobility that are his calling card. What's missing here is a glimpse at his short game - whether he can make the throws that keep drives alive, and outside of a couple of out routes, you don't get a good sense of that. [Those don't often make highlight reels, though. Understandable.] Intermediate and beyond seems to be no problem, though.
I'm no recruiting expert, but he plays at a level a bit above what you'd expect from a 3 star prospect.
What are your thoughts on Luke Rubenzer?