As you might know by now, former California Golden Bears commit Adrian Martinez has made a complete flip. He took a great visit to Knoxville, reopened his recruitment soon thereafter, and has now flipped to the Tennessee Volunteers. You’d have to guess at this point that Cal is out of the picture, and will not likely be reentering his recruitment.
Losing Martinez is a tough one for the Bears, because Cal wanted to take two quarterbacks in this class. With Cal currently holding five scholarship quarterbacks and one or two potentially transferring once someone wins the job, the Bears want to continue to restack the future.
The good news is they will at least have one. Cal did manage to offset that loss by landing Brandon McIlwain. McIlwain will have to sit out a year due to eligibility, but he essentially becomes one of the 2018 quarterbacks for next year’s cycle. The Bears will only have to worry about finding one more signal-caller.
"We're excited that Brandon has decided to enroll at Cal and become a member of both our football and baseball programs," Wilcox said. "We're looking forward to his contributions and having him join the competition in our quarterback room."
"I am excited to develop under the incredible coaching staff at Cal," McIlwain said. "The Golden Bears have a great quarterback history. In addition, I am equally excited about returning to the Bay Area and taking advantage of the university's amazing education."
McIlwain played in eight games with three starts during his 2016 true freshman football campaign at South Carolina when he completed 62-of-118 passes for 600 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while adding another 127 yards and two scores on the ground on 63 carries for a Gamecocks' squad that reached the Birmingham Bowl. McIlwain played in South Carolina's first five contests and threw for a career-high 195 yards on 16-of-28 passing while also rushing for a pair of touchdowns to lead the Gamecocks to a 20-15 victory over East Carolina in his first of three consecutive starts. He also started the team's next two SEC contests at Kentucky and versus Texas A&M while playing for the majority of the second half in the regular-season finale in a non-conference game against state rival and eventual national champion Clemson. McIlwain was named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll following the 2016 football season.
So who are the main quarterback targets? We’ll take a look at potential replacements in future posts, but it’s safe to say replacing Davis Webb will not be an easy task.