As Cal fans, we have grown accustomed to stellar quarterback play, watching Jared Goff turn in wonderful performances one after another and rewriting virtually every record in the Cal record book. Even though the very thought of Goff leaving makes all of us cringe, there is nothing to suggest that Dykes and Franklin cannot produce another stellar quarterback to suit up in the blue and gold. While Dykes will likely face the toughest challenge of his tenure when replacing Cal's golden boy who has become the face of the program, Cal does have a number of good options.
Already on campus, Chase Forrest and Ross Bowers have shown that they could develop into solid quarterbacks at the next level. Fortunately, the weapons Cal has at the wideout position will likely ease the transition to a new quarterback. Forrest has already seen game time when Cal has been up by multiple scores and has displayed glimpses of effectiveness despite playing mostly with the second and third stringers. Bowers looked solid during spring ball and still has plenty of time to mature into a next-level quarterback. In addition, Cal has a solid quarterback commit in the current class in Max Gilliam.
In Gilliam, Cal gets a quarterback who is a perfect match for the Bear raid system. While Gilliam doesn't have the arm strength of Goff, he is very fast (4.62 40-yard dash) and is very accurate and capable of making most of the throws that are needed at the college level. Gilliam has already signed his financial aid agreement and will graduate early so he can play spring ball, which bodes well if he wants to compete for playing time in his first year at Cal.
Dykes is also looking for a second quarterback in this class, so it is likely that someone will join Gilliam this year.
Dykes has also been hitting the recruiting trail hard, offering four quarterbacks from the 2017 and 2018 classes.
One of these offers was to 2017 pro-style quarterback Tyler Lytle out of Servite High School in Anaheim. Lytle plays in an offense that utilizes the pistol in a very similar to the Bear Raid. Upon snapping the ball, Lytle either drops back to pass, or runs a read option with the running back. Lytle seems to already have good decision-making as a junior, and quickly releases the ball accurately to the open receiver. Lytle could thrive in the Bear Raid with his quick decision-making and could once again help to add a running threat from the quarterback position. Cal and Miami were both quick to offer Lytle, and seem to be the main contenders at this point in time, but don't be surprised if he stockpiles some more offers.
The other quarterback offer from the 2017 class was Myles Brennan out of St. Stanislaus in Mississippi. Cal is once again flexing their muscles in Mississippi to try and snag talent out from under the SEC schools. Brennan is a solid prospect who already has good footwork and decision-making as a junior, in addition to the ability to throw off of the run. Brennan stays balance in the pocket so that he can deliver throws accurately, but is not afraid to escape the pocket and look downfield for blown coverage, which has netted him long gains on many occasions. So far, his only other major offers are from Cincinnati and Kentucky, but Cal seems to be the early favorite.
As well as the two 2017 quarterbacks offered, Dykes has reached out to two 2018 quarterbacks, the first of which is Cade Fortin out of North Gwinette High School in Georgia. While Fortin is still a bit raw as a sophomore, he already has very good arm strength and can make throws across the field that are not characteristic of high school sophomores. Since he is just in his second year, it his hard to say how he will develop, but he definitely has the tools to succeed at the next level. Cal was very early to the game with their offer to Fortin, which will hopefully help their chances to pry him away from the schools in the southwest.
The final offer was to 2018 quarterback Jack West out of Saraland High School in Alabama. West has already received numerous offers from schools such as Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and UCLA, which means there will surely be lots of competition for him. As a sophomore, West possesses impeccable arm strength, as the first play of his highlight tape is a 55-yard pass that splits two defenders for a touchdown. Getting West would be a huge recruiting coup and set Cal up to succeed at the quarterback position for a very long time.
While Goff may be one of the best to ever suit up for Cal, Dykes has already begun his preparations for the era post-Goff and stockpiled for the future, which looks very bright in Berkeley.