Why are we all so hyped about this 2015 Cal football team? We know our defense has been much maligned recently, so it can't be because of them. Our offense? Well, that's a whole other story. And, who's the leader of this high octane troupe?
None other than the one and only Jared Goff. This Marin Catholic product bleeds Blue and Gold. He originally committed to Jeff Tedford as Cal was slipping fast back in the early 2010s. But then Tedford was booted out of town and in came Sonny Dykes - Goff remained steadfastly committed to Cal. He stepped in as our starting QB from day one of his rookie season and has already given us two magical years. With an absolutely stellar and veteran wide receiving corps this coming 2015 campaign, expect Goff to gain major notoriety from coast to coast and shoot-up NFL teams' draft boards by season's end. Our backups can serve to sit back and learn from greatness - Goff is going to put on a clinic this year!
What Makes Goff Great?
Heading into the 2015 season, the pro buzz is that Goff is projecting to be the most NFL-ready QB in the lot. Goff's athleticism doesn't quite surpass that of recent highly drafted QBs, but he can make all the throws and has shown he has what it takes between the ears to lead an NFL offense.
Making His Progressions: What's most impressive about Goff is that he can quickly read defenses, go through his progressions, and make the right throws. Ladies and gentlemen, that is what makes Goff NFL-ready. His ability to keep his eyes moving (as opposed to most guys who stare down their receivers and give DBs all sorts of clues) and anticipate where his guys will be is impeccable and innate. Quarterback IQ at this level can only be taught so much - Goff's got that next-level stuff one's only born with.
Check-out this clip from the Cal vs. Oregon game last season: Using play action, the defense already begins with anticipating a rush. Then, Goff then scans the field from left to right before honing in on Chris Harper for the 20-yard bullet with pinpoint accuracy.
Deep Ball: Goff can also really throw the long ball. Check-out this clip of Goff pump-faking to his left, then making his reads from left to right, seeing a streaking Trevor Davis going full throttle down the middle of the field, then launching the rock almost 50 yards and hitting Davis in stride. That's some serious arm strength.
Production: In just two years, Goff has already distinguished himself as a Cal QB who will go down in our record books. In 2013, Goff had a 60.3% completion percentage; threw for 3,508 yards, 18 TDs, 10 INTs; and finished with a 123.2 QB rating. In 2014, he saw improvement across the board on those already-gaudy numbers: 62.1% completion percentage, 3,973 yards passing, 35 TDs, 7 INTs, and an overall 147.6 QB rating. Last season, Goff set Cal school records for most passing yards, TDs, and consecutive passes without an INT (185). These are Madden-type numbers.
Who Are the Understudies?
Redshirt FR Chase Forrest: Chase Forrest is getting a lot of reps at QB during fall practice so far. The 6'2", 190-lb QB from SoCal powerhouse Mater Dei (where Matt Barkley and Matt Leinart hailed from) was one of our prized recruits this past year. He has shown that he can make all of the requisite throws up and down, left and right across the field. The 3-star (according to 247 Sports) Forrest was the 52nd ranked pro-style QB in 2014. In Dykes' preseason depth chart, Forrest was listed as our #2 guy.
FR Ross Bowers: Along with Forrest, Ross Bowers has recently been getting a lot of reps. The 6'2", 190-lb QB from Bothell, Washington was another 3-star recruit (according to 247 Sports) brought in by Tony Franklin. Coming in, Bowers was the 20th ranked pro-style QB. He's currently third on Dykes' preseason QB depth chart. He's giving Forrest a real run for the #2 spot, recently making strides on his intermediate to long throws.
No matter what happens in the fight for the primary backup spot this season, Cal fans can rest well knowing that either Forrest or Bowers will be leading us down the road. Dykes and Franklin have amassed all sorts of QB depth. Let the Bear Raid live on!