BERKELEY – His birth certificate may say that 18-year-old Jared Goff is the youngest quarterback on Cal’s roster. But in terms of experience in coach Sonny Dykes’ system, Goff is just as old as anyone.
That’s why Dykes had no reservations naming Goff the Golden Bears’ starting quarterback Friday. Goff is a true freshman who enrolled in the spring, and narrowly beat out redshirt freshman Zach Kline for the job. Goff will be behind center when Cal opens the 2013 season Aug. 31 against Northwestern, something no other true freshman has ever done in a season opener in the recorded history of Cal football.
“He and Zach have had the same amount of time with us,” Dykes said after Friday night’s practice at Memorial Stadium. “Jared isn’t really a true freshman. He had a spring practice. He’s had all the time from spring practice to two-a-days to learn the system and perfect his craft.”
Dykes called the decision “gut-wrenching” and stressed that no quarterback on the roster ran away with the job. He said he could have chosen either Goff or Kline, but Goff has been just a little more consistent through training camp.
“It was a hard, difficult, gut-wrenching decision in a lot of ways,” Dykes said. “We kind of hoped someone would take it and run away with it, and that’s not really what happened. We made our decision solely based on who gives us the best chance to win today. It’s tough because you care about people. It was a very close competition, but we felt like time was starting to be of the essence and we needed to make a decision.”
Goff said he was honored to be named the starting quarterback and immediately called his father, Jerry, when he received the news Friday morning. Jerry Goff was a star baseball player at Cal who played for three teams during a major-league career, but he also served as the punter on the Bears’ football team for one season.
As for his dad’s reaction?
“He didn’t answer,” Jared said.
Jared said his dad, who is a firefighter, was on a call but called him as soon as he received a follow-up text message from his son.
“He was excited,” Goff said. “He said his phone had a million text messages.”
Goff was still attending Marin Catholic High School eight months ago, and in two weeks he will be the Bears’ starting quarterback for a nationally televised game against a ranked opponent. But the signal-caller, who has already earned a reputation for being calm and poised, said he isn’t thinking about any of the pageantry surrounding Cal’s season opener.
“I try to stay as composed as I can,” Goff said. “You have to as a quarterback. That’s one of the big things – stay composed, stay poised. Of course, there’s going to be a little bit of nerves. But you just have to go out there and do your job.”
Kline stood behind his teammate while also saying he will be ready if the team needs him.
“I know I’m a good quarterback,” Kline said. “I know I can win games and lead this team to where we want to go. But in the same breath, I’m going to support Jared obviously because that’s what a good teammate is going to do. At any moment, I could get in the game.”
Notes … *The countdown to Cal’s season opener at home against Northwestern on Saturday, Aug. 31 is now at 15 days. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2 with a kickoff time scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT.
* Cal is slated to work out every day at Memorial Stadium through Saturday, Aug. 24, when training camp concludes with Golden Bear Day presented by Bug Zappers Pest Control. Fans will have an opportunity to meet the team at the free event at Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza at Memorial Stadium from 2 to 4 p.m. PT.
*Golden Bear fans will also have an opportunity to get an all-access inside look at Cal football during the 2013 season through The Drive, a new television series featuring the Cal and Arizona State football programs that will air in 14 episodes on the Pac-12 Networks this fall. The show will debut with an hour-long special on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. that will focus on training camp and the first two games of the 2013 season. For the subsequent 13 weeks, the program will be 30 minutes and debut with two airings of a new episode every Wednesday across all seven networks at 7 p.m. and following the conclusion of Wednesday night Pac-12 Networks women's volleyball action at approximately 9:30 p.m. Check the Pac-12 Networks TV schedule (pac-12.com/tv-listings/pac-12-national) for additional repeats of the show. Visit pac-12.com/switch for information on how to get Pac-12 Networks.
*Fans can visit CalBears.com and various award-winning social media pages for comprehensive coverage of Cal football with a wide array of engaging content.
For 2013 ticket information, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO-BEARS.
2013 CAL FOOTBALL TRAINING CAMP PRACTICE SCHEDULE
DAY, DATE (GATE 1 OPENS) ... NOTES Saturday, Aug. 17 (4:30 p.m.) ... Scrimmage Sunday, Aug. 18 (4:30 p.m.) Monday, Aug. 19 (4:30 p.m.) Tuesday, Aug. 20 (4:30 p.m.) Wednesday, Aug. 21 (4:30 p.m.) Thursday, Aug. 22 (4:30 p.m.) Friday, Aug. 23 (4:30 p.m.) Saturday, Aug. 24 (11 a.m.) ... Pregame Simulation Saturday, Aug. 24 (2-4 p.m.) ... Golden Bear Day All times Pacific; Schedule and visiting policies subject to change
FAN PRACTICE INFORMATION Fans attending Cal football practices during the team’s 2013 training camp should enter Memorial Stadium through Gate 1 at the north end of the facility, with available seating in sections EE, F, FF and G. Fans are asked to refrain from taking photos or video during practice.
LOCATION/PARKING/TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS California Memorial Stadium Location – California Memorial Stadium is located on Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley between Bancroft Way and Hearst Avenue. It is adjacent to the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance at 2227 Piedmont Avenue. Parking in the vicinity of Memorial Stadium is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to read all signs at each parking location for further important information. There are also public transportation options. See below for some suggestions.
Public Transportation – Public transportation is highly recommended when visiting Berkeley. There are multiple public transportation options that lead to Memorial Stadium. BART has a station in downtown Berkeley about a half-mile west of the venue. Visit bart.gov, actransit.org or 511.org for more information.
Recreational Sports Facility Garage – Located on the north side of Bancroft Way between Dana Street and Ellsworth Street.
Street Parking – Paid and limited street parking may be available on streets near Memorial Stadium, with most options to the east, south and west along Bancroft Way, Channing Way, Piedmont Avenue, Prospect Street, Stadium Rim Way and Warring Street.
Underhill Garage – Located on the corner of Channing Way and College Avenue.
Witter Lot – Located near the corner of Centennial Drive and Stadium Rim Way.
More Information – For more info on directions and parking options, visit berkeley.edu/map.