BERKELEY -- Novato (Calif.) San Marin quarterback Manny Wilkins has been playing with or against California freshman signal-caller Jared Goff for as long as he can remember, so naturally, after the Bears' 11th spring practice finished with a scrimmage on Saturday, the two old friends went off to catch up with one another. What did Goff say to Wilkins?
"That I needed to go somewhere else so I could play against him," Wilkins laughed. "We've been playing against each other since we were eight years old, so it's something special. If I get to play against him in college, that would be really cool, but, you never know. I could end up right beside him."
Wilkins chided Goff for not being able to run, when in reality, Goff's mobility is what has him pulling away as the leading candidate to be named the starter. While last year Goff had his moments running the ball for Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic -- including a 79-yard performance in the Division III NCS title game against El Cerrito -- during the scrimmage, the 6-foot-4, 185-pounder rushed twice for 11 yards, and escaped pressure after a high snap to avoid a negative play. Goff finished 5-for-11 for 93 yards and one touchdown.
"It was fun," said Wilkins, who watched the scrimmage from the field. "It was fun getting my first chance to get out there and look at the offense. I've been watching a couple videos online and stuff like that, but it was definitely good to get out there in person and get to know all the guys, to get to know the staff and see all my friends on the team and see them play some football. The offense is quick and nice."
Last season, Wilkins rushed for over 600 yards, despite being classified as a pro-style quarterback. On Saturday, three of the quarterbacks combined to rush nine times for 49 yards and one touchdown.
"I think that whoever gets the job, if they have their head wrapped around it -- because they're still learning the offense -- it's going to become a factor, and a big part of the game -- a big part of that offense -- is quarterbacks running," Wilkins said.
Wilkins -- named the best quarterback by Scout.com recruiting analysts at the NLA 7-on-7 event in Las Vegas -- said that he could "definitely" see himself running the Bear Raid.
"It's a nice school, education-wise, and the offense is amazing," he said. "I talked with coach [Sonny] Dykes, coach [Rob] Likens, I talked with coach [Zach] Yenser and coach [Tony] Franklin. They said that they all enjoy me as a person and as a player, also, but they just want to see me throw in person."
That opportunity will come in June, as Wilkins plans on attending one of Cal's two summer camps.
"I'll definitely be out there," said Wilkins, who will also be in attendance on March 23 at the spring game.
RECRUIT REPORT: Manny Wilkins
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