Sonny Dykes has been hired as the first new head coach for the Cal Bears in 12 years. He’ll be tasked with bringing his high-flying spread offense to Berkeley and take the Bears over the top in a competitive Pac 12 conference. He’ll have to find a new quarterback for 2013 to run his offense, but don’t expect Dykes to settle on one during spring practice.
The race to be the next Cal quarterback is down to three candidates this spring. Austin Hinder, Jared Goff and Zach Kline have all been splitting reps in spring practice trying to stake their claim to the starter’s job for next fall. With the final spring practices already over, however, it doesn’t appear anyone has been able to set themselves apart just yet.
Hinder, a junior this season, is likely nearing the last of his chances to snag the starting job with Cal. Though he is the oldest member of the quarterback race, Hinder is probably third in terms of raw talent or ability. Breaking into a brand new offense allows him plenty of time to catch up, however, and could be the most athletic quarterback on the roster.
The true freshman Goff is making a stronger showing than many thought he would as an early enrollee, distributing the ball well in practice. There are some questions about his physical stature, especially compared with the quarterbacks he’s competing against. While he may lock up the “quarterback of the future” title this year, he may be helped out by a year to physically develop before taking over as starting quarterback.
That leaves Kline, who has been considered the early favorite to come out on top of this quarterback race. The sophomore signal caller likely has the most pure talent of the group, but he still has to figure out how to use his skill set in Dykes’ offense. If he can’t make his play fit, it could push Kline down on the depth chart next fall.
There is plenty for Sonny Dykes to consider on all three quarterbacks, and he’s going to take his time. Each of the quarterbacks will likely work their tail off over the summer to try and create some separation in their favor when fall camp opens next August. Who will finally come out on top?