In his first year as head coach of the California Golden Bears, Jeff Tedford did many big things. He took Cal from 1-10 to a winning season. He ended a long losing streak against Stanford. He put up 70 on Baylor on opening day. His Cal team went into Michigan State and whipped a top 25 team.
But his biggest moment came that recruiting cycle, when he discovered the unheralded Aaron Rodgers. Almost everything changed for the better for Cal for the immediate future.
Is history repeating itself with Justin Wilcox and Cal quarterback commit JT Shrout?
Shrout is unheralded at this point because he sat on the bench last season. Nick Moore (brother of Matt) was the starter at Hart last season, and was eventually recruited to Eastern Washington by then head coach and now Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports has more:
For Shrout to slip under the radar, it took a confluence of bad timing and a mature decision. Last season, Shrout ended up backing up Nick Moore at Hart. Moore is the younger brother of Miami Dolphins backup quarterback and former Hart star Matt Moore. Shrout essentially decided to attempt to compete with Moore instead of transferring. “By making this decision, you’re taking a very, very, very big chance,” said Jim Shrout, his father. “And making it much more difficult on yourself of getting that dream to come true and making it to a big school.”
But early word is that Shrout is getting tons of buzz as a future star. No, not in college. The NFL.
That was the consensus of coaches at the QB Collective, including one NFL coordinator who told Yahoo Sports that Shrout was by far the most polished prospect there. Shrout wowed all the coaches with his technical precision, polished footwork and smooth throwing motion.
It did lead to the usual bizarro analogues from football scouts.
“He’s the beautiful, natural-looking girl with no make-up in the corner of the room,” said Rich Bartel, a former NFL quarterback who trains quarterbacks in Texas. “There will be a lot of other sexy people who walk in front of your eyes, but he’s the one you should marry in terms of quarterbacks.”
It’s nice to see Shrout is getting early acclaim. Cal might have another gem ready to come in and play a year from now.