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Cal Football Recruiting

Chandler Rogers and the Search For the Next Cal QB

January 2, 2023
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While he hasn’t yet chosen the Bears, Cal is in a good position to land the services of a transfer QB,

Chandler Rogers was a Group of 5 level QB recruit out of high school, who choose to attend Southern Mississippi before going to a Junior College and lastly, Louisiana-Monroe.   He’s no taller than 6’1 and he’s not blessed with a cannon for a right arm.  So how is he a possible (likely?) upgrade for the Bears at the QB position?

It starts with a deeper dive into his productivity this past season at ULM.   Football is a game of interdependence.   You give a QB all day to throw, great weapons at WR, and a solid run game, and that QB is going to win a lot of games and post some impressive statistics.  Conversely, if your OL is a sieve and your skill talent is poor, even a great QB is going to struggle.

Chandler Rogers played for a bad ULM team last year.  He was sacked 42 times with only 320 pass attempts, meaning he was sacked on nearly 12% of the snaps where he attempted to pass the ball.  Let’s relate that to Cal and Jack Plummer in 2022.   Jack was sacked 31 times (a tremendously high number) against 484 attempts or 6% of the time.   As bad as the Bears' pass protection was last season, ULM’s was FAR worse (with regard to sacks per attempt, twice as bad).

Rogers was also plagued with a receiving corps that couldn’t catch the ball. ULM finished 4th in the nation in yards lost to receiving drops.  And their running game?   ULM's leading rusher gained only 507 yards with a 3.7 yards per carry average.  Their second-leading rusher was Rogers, who scored 5 rushing TDs and gained 353 yards, even with the negative yardage added in from his 42 sacks.   Compare that to Cal, where Ott posted nearly 900 yards on a 5.3 ypc average and Plummer ended up with -126 yards despite having taken 11 fewer sacks.

Despite all these challenges, Rogers posted a more than respectable 141.7 QB rating.  A rating that was 6th in the Sun Belt on a team that finished tied for 11th in the conference.  Rogers is highly accurate, with a 67.5% completion rate.   Adjusted for drops, his completion rate was an exceptional 76.5%.   If Rogers had attempted the same number of passes as Plummer had last season, he would have passed for more yards, as his yards per attempt was higher than Jack's.   Rogers threw a few interceptions but never had a game with more than one.  It’s also important to note that Rogers has had two years as a full-time starter, and his freshman year at ULM numbers was not far behind what he posted in 2022.  

Rodgers is blessed with explosive running ability.  Beyond his impressive numbers last season at ULM (when adjusted for sacks), he gained over 1000 yards during his senior year in HS (inclusive of sack yards) and scored 10 TDs while averaging over 7 yards per carry.  Compare that to Kai Milner, who rushed for half the number of yards and 6 TDs as a Senior averaging 5.4 ypc.   For something more visceral than his stats, check out this clip from his HS days - Some Serious Juice

Watching his film, it’s not hard to fathom what has Spavital so excited.  Rogers is tailor-made for Spav’s offense.  A fast decision-maker who gets the ball out quickly, Rogers is going to get the ball out to his weapons in space early and often.   Naturally accurate, he throws a WR-friendly ball that often catches his receivers in stride on a host of WR screens, crossers, seams, and quick outs.  For someone with as explosive a pair of legs as Rogers has, he’s far more patient in the pocket than one might expect, working through his progressions to find the open receiver.  While Rogers's arm is not as big as Plummer’s, it’s likely better than Garbers and he delivers it from a far more consistent base.  It’s hard to know how well he throws the deep ball as he rarely had time for post routes or deeper outs.  

A more fulsome view of his passing ability

Until he does it in the Pac-12, there are going to be questions about how Rogers projects at the Power 5 level.   His size isn’t ideal nor is he blessed with a big-time arm.  However, his legs are clearly a weapon, his innate accuracy, decision-making, quick release and consistent production without any type of a supporting cast are all reasons to believe he may be a very good fit in Spavital’s 2023 Cal Offense.

Discussion from...

Chandler Rogers and the Search For the Next Cal QB

23,968 Views | 87 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by Bobodeluxe
kelly09
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dimitrig said:

HearstMining said:

okaydo said:

Question: Who we're the last 5 great Cal quarterbacks?
Really great? Moraga sort of covered that in another recent thread, but I'd say in reverse chronological order:
1. Goff
2. Rodgers
3. Roth
4. Bartkowski
5. Morton

You can make arguments for Campbell, Taylor, Barr, Barnes, Boller, but the above all had at least one great season at Cal and substantial if not great NFL careers.


Gotta have Pawlawski on there.

NO!
Oski87
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kal kommie said:

Oski87 said:

kal kommie said:

calumnus said:

kal kommie said:

Quote:

Rogers played for a bad ULM team last year. He was sacked 42 times with only 320 pass attempts, meaning he was sacked on nearly 12% of the snaps where he attempted to pass the ball. Let's relate that to Cal and Jack Plummer in 2022. Jack was sacked 31 times (a tremendously high number) against 484 attempts or 6% of the time. As bad as the Bears' pass protection was last season, ULM's was FAR worse (with regard to sacks per attempt, twice as bad).

...

While Rogers's arm is not as big as Plummer's, it's likely better than Garbers and he delivers it from a far more consistent base.
Assuming the explanation for the sack counts in the respective OL strengths discounts the possibility that Plummer was better at not taking sacks. Plummer was very tough in delivering the ball under pressure, not excessively looking to run or discarding opportunities to throw despite knowing he would take a hit without being able to fully protect himself. Plummer was also very decisive, taking very few sacks because he simply couldn't decide what to do in time. I've only watched a few of Rogers' games but I don't think he matches Plummer in these attributes. I think Rogers is more likely to give up on a play and scramble or consciously take the sack along with the opportunity to protect himself from the blow. Note I don't say this is necessarily bad, just different.

I don't agree that Rogers' arm is stronger than Garbers'. I'd give Chase the slight edge on this test. I think the Maynard comparisons seem more fitting than they really are is because Rogers' arm strength very much resembles Maynard's, one of the weaker arms among Cal starting QBs of my time. This is unfortunate given how strong our WR corps will be in 2023.

Rogers obviously has compensating strengths. He has outstanding mobility, has good accuracy and throws a very soft, catchable ball. He's a good operator of a spread passing attack. Rogers' combination of passing skill and mobility opens up huge sections of the playbook that would have been closed to Spav with Plummer. With the kinds of weapons he's going to have, I expect Rogers to be much more productive than Plummer was last season but I don't think he's actually an upgrade in overall QB quality. I think they're comparable talents with a very different set of strengths and weaknesses.
I think this is fair, but the issue was Plummer "demanding" he be recognized as the front runner. If Spavital does that, it is tougher to recruit QBs, not just Rodgers, but likely a bigger name too. Plus, it is not honest. The position is wide open, that is the truth. Plummer might be the best, but he is going to have to compete.
Within the the team competition should rule but prospective recruits are not on the team yet. I think a lot of the talk about how important it is to preserve totally open competition beyond the boundaries of our team can only be maintained because Plummer is only a very modestly valuable QB. If he was a star I bet most people would definitely not bring in a QB transfer if he didn't want one. Same with a condition made by a star HS QB recruit that he's the only QB we take in that class. I would agree if I thought we would not get any other HS QB as good while telling the recruit up front that once he's on the roster he'll have to earn the job against everyone else on the team.

If I understand correctly, Plummer did not demand to be recognized as the starter, only that the staff didn't bring in a transfer that would be expected to contend against him for the job. If Milner or Mendoza beat him out, that's different.
Plummer did not decide to come back. He was deciding to go to the senior bowl or stay or transfer. Meanwhile, the world turned. So the staff had to get someone in. We did not have a high school kid and you always need at least one or two QBs. Plummer may have been fine for next year, or he may have wanted to go to the NFL. A week is a long time in the portal era.
That's not what others have reported in other threads. Reportedly, Plummer told the coaches he would return if no transfer QB was brought in who would be expected to immediately compete for the starting job. The coaches in turn told him they intended to bring someone in. My comments on the matter have assumed the truth of these reports, as have many of the replies to my comments. I have no personal knowledge either way.
I think that is true also - but that was after he dithered and they had a new OC who was not sure exactly where he stood, and so started to recruit others. Regardless, the last month of the season, he was very clear he was not sure he was coming back. That plays into everyones perception and they are not waiting around for him to decide. It was also clear then that a new OC was coming in, so I think that there was, for Plummer, a natural hesitancy. And frankly it was the right call to bring someone in - so if that was the issue with Plummer, nothing you can do about that.

For Kai - I think people were surprised. I am surprised they were surprised because being recruited over twice is not a great feeling.

My sense on the QB thing is that QBs need to start getting used to being recruited over. There are about 500 - 600 QBs on rosters and 130 playing slots. Maybe half of those are being opened each year. The ones who are stacked behind the other guys see players leaving and getting starting jobs. But I have to say that no one should feel certain about your starter. Players want to play and for QBs there is only one slot per team. No one rotates QBs, or give starting reps to the backup. People say they should - but really no one does it. And frankly why shroud they? Just get a new one from the portal who has experience.

Cal right now is in the middle tier - the guys who are good from the bottom tier, or the guys who had good games but got injured and moved on from, or guys who were good and got recruited over, they are moving on to a starter role, or competing for one. The new blood will be going to the lower tier teams and moving up. And meanwhile, you have a guy like Kai who gets no reps, or limited reps, and so he will have to go down to move back up. Go to UMSU, or Hawaii, and then transfer back somewhere once he has tape. There are too many guys who can play and kids coming in will have to decide where they can get play on film. For a lot of highly fought after PAC 12 guys - Butterfield, Millner, the UCLA guys, Moss, Dart, etc...they all are going to have to move on to get on the field. If I were a top tier player, I would go to where could definitely get good coaching and start right away - like a UNLV, or Hawaii, etc. Then find the right transfer slot to move to after a year or two of film. Cal and UCLA are great schools, but it seems like hoping our guys are going to stick around for years to get recruited over and being good soldiers about that is not really rational at this point in the Portal era.
DoubtfulBear
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Sebastabear said:

HearstMining said:

Sebastabear said:

There's a lot going on here. As someone hip deep in all of these personnel issues (and eyebrow deep in NIL) let me throw in a few personal thoughts. Take them for what they are worth as these are just one man's views.
.
.
.

Thanks to the staff for writing it.
Sebastabear, thank you for the excellent synopsis. Do you (or any other contributors on BI) have any insight into what conversations Spav had with Millner? It's been said that the most popular player on a losing team is the backup QB, but the little we saw of his play was intriguing.
Will repeat here what I posted on the insider board. Basically I believe the situation with Kai was a bit more inadvertent, but nevertheless foreseeable. And unfolded much in the same way as the Plummer situation did and for similar reasons. Kai knew that he was being recruited over (again). He knew that Spavital thought we could do better. And he wants to play. All of these kids really want to play not just warm the bench. So he's out there testing the waters. But I'm not sure he's getting met with a lot of enthusiasm from other programs so he may well find himself without a home. It's too bad but it's what happens when players jump into the portal. I don't think he's coming back. But once again QB is the position I am really least concerned about. I think we'll be fine. What I am concerned about is landing a couple of quality offensive tackles. All eyes need to be on that.
Will our prospects at OL improve as the recruiting season continues? Every team needs a solid OL and unlike QB, it's worth hoarding talent because of the inevitable injuries that occur as the season wears on. Do we expect many OL players to get pushed out during Spring training?
calumnus
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DoubtfulBear said:

Sebastabear said:

HearstMining said:

Sebastabear said:

There's a lot going on here. As someone hip deep in all of these personnel issues (and eyebrow deep in NIL) let me throw in a few personal thoughts. Take them for what they are worth as these are just one man's views.
.
.
.

Thanks to the staff for writing it.
Sebastabear, thank you for the excellent synopsis. Do you (or any other contributors on BI) have any insight into what conversations Spav had with Millner? It's been said that the most popular player on a losing team is the backup QB, but the little we saw of his play was intriguing.
Will repeat here what I posted on the insider board. Basically I believe the situation with Kai was a bit more inadvertent, but nevertheless foreseeable. And unfolded much in the same way as the Plummer situation did and for similar reasons. Kai knew that he was being recruited over (again). He knew that Spavital thought we could do better. And he wants to play. All of these kids really want to play not just warm the bench. So he's out there testing the waters. But I'm not sure he's getting met with a lot of enthusiasm from other programs so he may well find himself without a home. It's too bad but it's what happens when players jump into the portal. I don't think he's coming back. But once again QB is the position I am really least concerned about. I think we'll be fine. What I am concerned about is landing a couple of quality offensive tackles. All eyes need to be on that.
Will our prospects at OL improve as the recruiting season continues? Every team needs a solid OL and unlike QB, it's worth hoarding talent because of the inevitable injuries that occur as the season wears on. Do we expect many OL players to get pushed out during Spring training?


If you have (roughly) 4 scholarship players at every position that is 4 QBs and 20 OL. I think we will have 4 QBs.
tequila4kapp
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Oski87 said:

kal kommie said:

Oski87 said:

kal kommie said:

calumnus said:

kal kommie said:

Quote:

Rogers played for a bad ULM team last year. He was sacked 42 times with only 320 pass attempts, meaning he was sacked on nearly 12% of the snaps where he attempted to pass the ball. Let's relate that to Cal and Jack Plummer in 2022. Jack was sacked 31 times (a tremendously high number) against 484 attempts or 6% of the time. As bad as the Bears' pass protection was last season, ULM's was FAR worse (with regard to sacks per attempt, twice as bad).

...

While Rogers's arm is not as big as Plummer's, it's likely better than Garbers and he delivers it from a far more consistent base.
Assuming the explanation for the sack counts in the respective OL strengths discounts the possibility that Plummer was better at not taking sacks. Plummer was very tough in delivering the ball under pressure, not excessively looking to run or discarding opportunities to throw despite knowing he would take a hit without being able to fully protect himself. Plummer was also very decisive, taking very few sacks because he simply couldn't decide what to do in time. I've only watched a few of Rogers' games but I don't think he matches Plummer in these attributes. I think Rogers is more likely to give up on a play and scramble or consciously take the sack along with the opportunity to protect himself from the blow. Note I don't say this is necessarily bad, just different.

I don't agree that Rogers' arm is stronger than Garbers'. I'd give Chase the slight edge on this test. I think the Maynard comparisons seem more fitting than they really are is because Rogers' arm strength very much resembles Maynard's, one of the weaker arms among Cal starting QBs of my time. This is unfortunate given how strong our WR corps will be in 2023.

Rogers obviously has compensating strengths. He has outstanding mobility, has good accuracy and throws a very soft, catchable ball. He's a good operator of a spread passing attack. Rogers' combination of passing skill and mobility opens up huge sections of the playbook that would have been closed to Spav with Plummer. With the kinds of weapons he's going to have, I expect Rogers to be much more productive than Plummer was last season but I don't think he's actually an upgrade in overall QB quality. I think they're comparable talents with a very different set of strengths and weaknesses.
I think this is fair, but the issue was Plummer "demanding" he be recognized as the front runner. If Spavital does that, it is tougher to recruit QBs, not just Rodgers, but likely a bigger name too. Plus, it is not honest. The position is wide open, that is the truth. Plummer might be the best, but he is going to have to compete.
Within the the team competition should rule but prospective recruits are not on the team yet. I think a lot of the talk about how important it is to preserve totally open competition beyond the boundaries of our team can only be maintained because Plummer is only a very modestly valuable QB. If he was a star I bet most people would definitely not bring in a QB transfer if he didn't want one. Same with a condition made by a star HS QB recruit that he's the only QB we take in that class. I would agree if I thought we would not get any other HS QB as good while telling the recruit up front that once he's on the roster he'll have to earn the job against everyone else on the team.

If I understand correctly, Plummer did not demand to be recognized as the starter, only that the staff didn't bring in a transfer that would be expected to contend against him for the job. If Milner or Mendoza beat him out, that's different.
Plummer did not decide to come back. He was deciding to go to the senior bowl or stay or transfer. Meanwhile, the world turned. So the staff had to get someone in. We did not have a high school kid and you always need at least one or two QBs. Plummer may have been fine for next year, or he may have wanted to go to the NFL. A week is a long time in the portal era.
That's not what others have reported in other threads. Reportedly, Plummer told the coaches he would return if no transfer QB was brought in who would be expected to immediately compete for the starting job. The coaches in turn told him they intended to bring someone in. My comments on the matter have assumed the truth of these reports, as have many of the replies to my comments. I have no personal knowledge either way.
I think that is true also - but that was after he dithered and they had a new OC who was not sure exactly where he stood, and so started to recruit others. Regardless, the last month of the season, he was very clear he was not sure he was coming back. That plays into everyones perception and they are not waiting around for him to decide. It was also clear then that a new OC was coming in, so I think that there was, for Plummer, a natural hesitancy. And frankly it was the right call to bring someone in - so if that was the issue with Plummer, nothing you can do about that.

For Kai - I think people were surprised. I am surprised they were surprised because being recruited over twice is not a great feeling.

My sense on the QB thing is that QBs need to start getting used to being recruited over. There are about 500 - 600 QBs on rosters and 130 playing slots. Maybe half of those are being opened each year. The ones who are stacked behind the other guys see players leaving and getting starting jobs. But I have to say that no one should feel certain about your starter. Players want to play and for QBs there is only one slot per team. No one rotates QBs, or give starting reps to the backup. People say they should - but really no one does it. And frankly why shroud they? Just get a new one from the portal who has experience.

Cal right now is in the middle tier - the guys who are good from the bottom tier, or the guys who had good games but got injured and moved on from, or guys who were good and got recruited over, they are moving on to a starter role, or competing for one. The new blood will be going to the lower tier teams and moving up. And meanwhile, you have a guy like Kai who gets no reps, or limited reps, and so he will have to go down to move back up. Go to UMSU, or Hawaii, and then transfer back somewhere once he has tape. There are too many guys who can play and kids coming in will have to decide where they can get play on film. For a lot of highly fought after PAC 12 guys - Butterfield, Millner, the UCLA guys, Moss, Dart, etc...they all are going to have to move on to get on the field. If I were a top tier player, I would go to where could definitely get good coaching and start right away - like a UNLV, or Hawaii, etc. Then find the right transfer slot to move to after a year or two of film. Cal and UCLA are great schools, but it seems like hoping our guys are going to stick around for years to get recruited over and being good soldiers about that is not really rational at this point in the Portal era.
Kai and family need to get over it. He's been here heading into year 3. He's never been ready to take over. The room has either been manned by a veteran starter or so thin that it was mandatory to bring in more players.
CalGrad95
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Sebastabear said:

3. Our coaches intently evaluated DJ Uiagalelei (the Clemson 5* QB going to Oregon State). He was interested in Cal. At the end of the day he is there and not here because we made a CHOICE. We did. Spavital simply liked Chandler Rogers better. It's not about the pedigree or the name of the former school. It's about what thIs player can do here and Chandler is simply the better fit.
We made a choice to pass on DJ Uiagalelei because we liked Chandler Rogers better?

Well that makes this very awkward then:

DoubtfulBear
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CalGrad95 said:

Sebastabear said:

3. Our coaches intently evaluated DJ Uiagalelei (the Clemson 5* QB going to Oregon State). He was interested in Cal. At the end of the day he is there and not here because we made a CHOICE. We did. Spavital simply liked Chandler Rogers better. It's not about the pedigree or the name of the former school. It's about what thIs player can do here and Chandler is simply the better fit.
We made a choice to pass on DJ Uiagalelei because we liked Chandler Rogers better?

Well that makes this very awkward then:


Starting to wonder if we actually made a choice here or if this was communicated by Spav to save face
Sebastabear
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Maybe the answer is we then found someone we liked better than Rogers. What I wrote was true when I wrote it. If you want insider information, realize things change and you may see more than you want to. But things sometimes happen for a reason.

Stay tuned. Will be an interesting couple of days.
DoubtfulBear
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Sebastabear said:

Maybe the answer is we then found someone we liked better than Rogers. What I wrote was true when I wrote it. If you want insider information, realize things change and you may see more than you want to. But things sometimes happen for a reason.

Stay tuned. Will be an interesting couple of days.
Definitely not blaming you here, Sebasta. Really appreciate all you do for this program!
JB was a Chieftain
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This article reeks of the Carlos Correa fiasco
Alkiadt
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Sebastabear said:

Maybe the answer is we then found someone we liked better than Rogers. What I wrote was true when I wrote it. If you want insider information, realize things change and you may see more than you want to. But things sometimes happen for a reason.

Stay tuned. Will be an interesting couple of days.


Exactly.
Some interesting developments are in the works.
I'm not concerned about the qb position.
KoreAmBear
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Alkiadt said:

Sebastabear said:

Maybe the answer is we then found someone we liked better than Rogers. What I wrote was true when I wrote it. If you want insider information, realize things change and you may see more than you want to. But things sometimes happen for a reason.

Stay tuned. Will be an interesting couple of days.


Exactly.
Some interesting developments are in the works.
I'm not concerned about the qb position.
Well that's good to hear. We'll be finding out soon when the portal window closes.
bearsandgiants
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KoreAmBear said:

Alkiadt said:

Sebastabear said:

Maybe the answer is we then found someone we liked better than Rogers. What I wrote was true when I wrote it. If you want insider information, realize things change and you may see more than you want to. But things sometimes happen for a reason.

Stay tuned. Will be an interesting couple of days.


Exactly.
Some interesting developments are in the works.
I'm not concerned about the qb position.
Well that's good to hear. We'll be finding out soon when the portal window closes.
All the portal window closing means is that nobody can transfer out from our team, until the next window opens in May for another 15 days. Anyone who's already in the portal has the entire year to find a home. The anxiety will continue until performance improves.
KoreAmBear
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bearsandgiants said:

KoreAmBear said:

Alkiadt said:

Sebastabear said:

Maybe the answer is we then found someone we liked better than Rogers. What I wrote was true when I wrote it. If you want insider information, realize things change and you may see more than you want to. But things sometimes happen for a reason.

Stay tuned. Will be an interesting couple of days.


Exactly.
Some interesting developments are in the works.
I'm not concerned about the qb position.
Well that's good to hear. We'll be finding out soon when the portal window closes.
All the portal window closing means is that nobody can transfer out from our team, until the next window opens in May for another 15 days. Anyone who's already in the portal has the entire year to find a home. The anxiety will continue until performance improves.
Right but don't they have to be registered for classes for the spring semester which is coming up soon (about the same time as the window closing?), in order to play spring ball? I guess the registration for classes is the important part, at least for the upcoming season. We want QB1 to learn Spav's offense spring and fall right?
Rushinbear
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KoreAmBear said:

bearsandgiants said:

KoreAmBear said:

Alkiadt said:

Sebastabear said:

Maybe the answer is we then found someone we liked better than Rogers. What I wrote was true when I wrote it. If you want insider information, realize things change and you may see more than you want to. But things sometimes happen for a reason.

Stay tuned. Will be an interesting couple of days.


Exactly.
Some interesting developments are in the works.
I'm not concerned about the qb position.
Well that's good to hear. We'll be finding out soon when the portal window closes.
All the portal window closing means is that nobody can transfer out from our team, until the next window opens in May for another 15 days. Anyone who's already in the portal has the entire year to find a home. The anxiety will continue until performance improves.
Right but don't they have to be registered for classes for the spring semester which is coming up soon (about the same time as the window closing?), in order to play spring ball? I guess the registration for classes is the important part, at least for the upcoming season. We want QB1 to learn Spav's offense spring and fall right?
Learn? LEARN? What is this learn of which you speak? Isn't it enough that they get out there and display their talents?
mbBear
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HearstMining said:

okaydo said:

Question: Who we're the last 5 great Cal quarterbacks?
Really great? Moraga sort of covered that in another recent thread, but I'd say in reverse chronological order:
1. Goff
2. Rodgers
3. Roth
4. Bartkowski
5. Morton

You can make arguments for Campbell, Taylor, Barr, Barnes, Boller, but the above all had at least one great season at Cal and substantial if not great NFL careers.
Just a point for those who don't know: obviously, Roth didn't have an NFL career, but there was no doubt at the time that he was a top NFL Draft pick, very likely #1 overall if he had stayed healthy....can't type that without a tear in my eye...
Bobodeluxe
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mbBear said:

HearstMining said:

okaydo said:

Question: Who we're the last 5 great Cal quarterbacks?
Really great? Moraga sort of covered that in another recent thread, but I'd say in reverse chronological order:
1. Goff
2. Rodgers
3. Roth
4. Bartkowski
5. Morton

You can make arguments for Campbell, Taylor, Barr, Barnes, Boller, but the above all had at least one great season at Cal and substantial if not great NFL careers.
Just a point for those who don't know: obviously, Roth didn't have an NFL career, but there was no doubt at the time that he was a top NFL Draft pick, very likely #1 overall if he had stayed healthy....can't type that without a tear in my eye...
Montana before Montana.
 
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