You may have heard that Cal football now has a significant vacancy. That's right, six of our top receivers, each a stud in his own right, are either graduating or declaring for the NFL draft.
Oh, and so is our record-breaking quarterback.
The Bears already have some great talent ready to step up to the plate in the likes of Chase Forrest and Ross Bowers, but promising young talent like recent freshman commit, Victor Viramontes, ensures that Bear Territory will stay golden for years to come.
Here are his rankings from the major recruiting services.
Rivals: 3 stars, 15th at his position, 50th in his state
24/7 Scout: 3 stars
ESPN: No Ranking
At 6'2" and 225lbs, boasting a 4.5 second forty and a powerful arm, Viramontes is a solid dual-threat quarterback. He is a playmaker in every sense of the word and has a decisiveness that is deadly when paired with his explosiveness. Let's take a look at the tape.
- What's interesting about the first play isn't the gimme throw to the wide-open receiver, but Viramontes' footwork right before the throw. He quickly settles his feet, and steps into the throw, making sure that he doesn't waste a touchdown opportunity.
- The second play beginning at 0:24 is a doozy. It's a designed run, so he takes off immediately after getting the snap, displaying great reflexes and vision to get by the blitzing defensive back. What he does to the safety on the back end of this play makes you pity the defender as Viramontes sends him stumbling to the ground.
- At 0:41 we see the play break apart. Viramontes rolls out to his right and throws a dime to record the touchdown. The corner was anticipating the throw, but Viramontes places it perfectly while on the run to make sure that his man is the only one who could catch it.
- The option that he runs at 1:05 is devastating. He instantly recognizes that the pitch isn't there and blasts off past the line and blitzing defenders. At that point it's a straight foot race, and that's easy pickings for a guy with his speed.
- Viramontes drops a beauty of a pass to hit his slot receiver in full stride at 1:19, giving him room to take off down the sideline for an easy touchdown. He drops another great ball to the corner in the next play, hitting his mark at an indefensible spot. While we're at it, the pass at 2:16 to the post route is flawless, hitting the receiver's fully extended hands just over the defender.
- He exhibits strength, balance, and speed at 1:46 and 2:27 by breaking a number of hard hits and beating every defender to the end zone. I especially like how he keeps his feet moving while looking for the throw in the latter play, and his decisiveness to run once he sees a gap.
- The play at 2:40 is a nasty bit of running. He splits the gap in a QB draw play and is completely elusive, making defenders miss with a quick and simple hip twist.
- At 6:11 he fires a laser down the seam, displaying some arm strength and an accuracy that is relatively rare for quarterbacks who run the ball as often as he does. That accuracy is seen again when he sends a beautiful ball while on the run that splits the defenders to get an easy touch down.
- We see at 8:01 that he isn't bad throwing on the run on his offside. He connects with his receive on an accurate albeit wobbly ball.
- Viramontes is a true dual threat quarterback. He has great arm strength and accuracy to boot. He has good touch on his deeper throws, often hitting his marks in stride, making them as effective as possible. His foot speed and quickness make him difficult to contain and his quick thinking and explosiveness equips him to take advantage of every mistake a defender may make. He does have a worrisome habit of rushing with the ball still cocked to throw. One well-placed or well-timed hit would send that ball flying out of his hands.
- Despite that, great balance, flexibility, and toughness make him hard to bring down, and if a quarterback is willing to take a hit to get more yards, it usually means he's willing to dish out a hit for more yards too. I'm looking forward to what Viramontes can add to the dynamic of our offense, Welcome to Cal, Vic, and Go Bears!