May 14, 2011
2011 Cal Football: Schedule | Season Tickets
Tedford Names Zach Maynard Starting Quarterback
(BERKELEY) - Cal head coach Jeff Tedford announced Saturday that Zach Maynard will be the team's starting quarterback heading into the 2011 season. The Golden Bears open training camp on Aug. 6, with the 2011 season opener vs. Fresno State at Candlestick Park in San Francisco scheduled four weeks later on Sept. 3. Following the announcement, the junior quarterback spoke with the media via a teleconference call. Following are selected comments of what he had to say.
On what his expectations where heading into 2011 spring football
On whether there was a time during spring practice when he thought he was going to be the starter
"It took me a little while especially coming off this last year when I redshirted. I hadn't stepped on the field in a whole year. I had to take some time and really get into the playbook and meet with coach Tedford and the quarterback coaches that are here a little bit more to try to get these plays down. When we went out on the field, it was kind of rough at first. My timing was off, my cadence was a little too quick for the guys, but over time we got better. I feel good now, everything is clicking."
"I started getting the first team reps, just to get a feel to go with the "1's." Me, Brock [Mansion] and also [Allan] Bridgford all got first team reps, and we mixed and matched early so we could all see where we could go from there. I got a couple of reps with the second team sometimes but it's been a while. I started to probably get more reps with the first team and I guess it started to become more clear then."
On when he found out he would be named the starting quarterback
"He [coach Tedford] told me a couple of days ago and obviously I was very excited. It's an opportunity to start at Cal. Just coming off a whole year of not playing at all and then making an impact during spring ball, I used the amount of work [I put in] and my dedication to my advantage. I was really excited. It was a huge relief off my shoulders. Now I can just focus on getting in the film room and the weight room, and getting better."
On why he transferred from Buffalo and why he chose Cal
"I left Buffalo because my head coach Turner Gill left at the end of my sophomore season. I got the opportunity to transfer and had more opportunities from other schools, but I chose Cal because I had always liked Cal ever since I was in high school when I came here for camp. I liked the scenery out here and the weather was cool. I like coach Tedford, he's a quarterback guy and I figured I had my best chance under his wings. Also, my brother [Cal wide receiver/returner Keenan Allen] was graduating from high school at the time and made his decision to go to Cal, so it was going to work out the best for me."
On how much it helps to know he's the starter going into 2011 training camp
"I'm not really sure that it helps much. If you've been named the starter, I guess you feel like you're more comfortable and you tend to slack off a little bit because you know you're the guy. I'm not going to take it as I am starting because there's a long way until the season comes. We've got summer camp; we've got workouts and conditioning right now. I have to stay on top of myself and on top of everything like I'm not the starter and like I'm working for a job. I've got to take it even more serious now."
On being a starting quarterback on a Pac-12 team
"It's going to be a tough schedule. We don't play any slacker teams at all. But going against those guys will only make me better, because I know I have to perform when I get on the field. I have to get points on the board and make good decisions. It's going to be a huge learning experience and the game will be a lot faster in the Pac-12 than the MAC [. There are a lot more pure athletes in this conference. You play against great guys and great teams every week."
On the risk he took to transfer from Buffalo to Cal
"It was a huge risk, actually. To transfer and get all my units, even getting in school, that was the hard job to get my transcripts or units right, and then play. I accomplished that and then to get back on the football field and earn another starting job. I really had to take all that in consideration to transfer, but I think I made the right choice and everything is working itself out."
On whether he looked at the quarterback situation at Cal
"I did look at the depth chart and saw the  starting quarterback [Kevin Riley] was graduating but no matter where you go you've got to compete, regardless of anywhere you go. You could wind up somewhere and have the quarterback who is a junior come back another year and you've still got to compete for the job."
On what he did during his season off in 2010
"I wanted to let my body actually heal mentally and physically, as well as emotionally. Really the hardest part was schoolwork, trying to get all that down. I tried to do some free [weights] work when I could. I tried to work out as much as I could. I did a lot of cardio, tried to build some more muscle mass, that type of stuff. I felt good going into spring ball and that helped me out a lot. I stayed on top of everything."
On how having his half-brother Keenan Allen around during spring ball helped
"I don't want to say absolutely [that he was a huge help] but he is my brother, indeed, and we've had a connection since he was born. It was great having him out there, having someone out there that I knew I could depend on any cost, whether we're losing by 50 or winning by 50. Just having my brother out there is a huge impact on what we can do and what he can accomplish as a team, but I'm seeing what I can do with the other guys, too. Me and Marvin Jones have good chemistry, the running backs, linemen; I'm trying to get that feel for everybody besides just my brother. The other quarterbacks have the same chemistry have the same chemistry with him, too. They've been playing with him for a year now and they know what each other are going to do."
On whether having Keenan Allen at Cal was a huge part of him coming to Cal
"Having my brother here was huge for him. He was just coming out of high school and going a long way from home. Just to have family here to watch over him and do whatever he needs, whenever he needs somebody to talk to I was here for him. A win or a loss we'd go out and have a good time and I was here for him. That helped him a lot."
On other options he had after he decided to transfer
"There were many schools. My other options were Clemson, Kansas, [North] Carolina, Mississippi State, to name off a few. But I liked Cal a lot more than any of those schools. The academics really impressed me a lot as the No. 1 public institution in the nation. Just to come and get a degree from here was vital. That's what I'm really working for, also having a chance to win the national championship."
On his style of quarterback play
"I like to pass first, running is just an action I can choose to get out of the pocket and use my mobility to open up more passing lanes. But I can run the ball as well and pick up three or four yards when it's third-and-short. I can use my speed to get the defense off balance."
On whether he emulates the style of any particular quarterback
"It's really my own game. Those guys [Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton] are great quarterbacks. They run the ball a lot but that's not something we're going to emphasize. We're not going to be a running team from the quarterback position so it's going to be pass first and then give the ball to the running backs. I'll get yards [on the ground] where I can when we need to."
On whether there is a pro quarterback he has admired and patterned his game after
"I really like Brett Favre, huge arm, confidence level was extremely high. Also Tom Brady is a really calm, poised quarterback in the pocket. He stays in the pocket and finds a way to make that pass downfield. But my favorite quarterback is Dennis Dixon. I loved the way he played in college."
On whether being named a starting quarterback at a BCS school is redemption for him
"Yeah, this is my dream. This is my dream to be at a huge university and having a chance to do this is a huge blessing. I count my blessings and this is one I was looking forward to."
On whether coach Tedford told him how firm his grip on the starting position is
"He didn't really go into details on that. He just told me that I earned the starting job. I'm still going to have to compete. There's still summer camp. It's going to be the same as spring ball. I'm going to have perform and produce the same way I did in spring practice as we're getting into the season."
On what exactly he liked about the way Dennis Dixon played at Oregon
"He's extremely smart and manages the game very well. Unfortunately, he got hurt. I like the way he plays. He makes the defense defend him; defend what he's strong at doing. He can run but he never tried to make huge runs. If he knew it wasn't there, he would slide or he would get out of bounds. He'd kill you with his arm, too."