CULVER CITY, Calif. -- California wide receiver Bryce Treggs was even-handed and savvy when asked about which of the three quarterbacks -- Zach Kline, Jared Goff or Austin Hinder -- looked the best during summer workouts, saying that each of the three had their good days and their bad.
"It's like a see-saw," Treggs said. "One day, one guy looks like he's going to be The Guy, and then the next day, another guy looks like he's going to be The Guy."
The question of who will run the Golden Bears' new Bear Raid offense is perhaps the most important one facing head coach Sonny Dykes, and he hopes to get the decision made as soon as possible.
"We're going to get them back out there and start all over again," Dykes said of the quarterback competition that consumed all of spring, and will re-commence when Cal hits camp on August 4. "The idea is to narrow it down to two as quickly as possible, and that may be the first day."
Having a quarterback set early is of particular importance to Treggs, who recalls all-too-clearly the feeling of uncertainty when Jeff Tedford told the team the night before last season's opener against Nevada that Allan Bridgford would be starting in place of Zach Maynard.
"We never practiced with Bridgford until the game, and [when the game started] it was like, there goes Bridgford," Treggs said. "When you look at most of the teams in the Pac-12, everybody has their quarterback set, so that means that the receivers are getting time in with their quarterback, and they're getting the chemistry with their starting quarterback, while we're deciding who the starter is still. So we're a bit behind in that sense because we don't have timing with that quarterback, and we don't have chemistry with one specific guy. So once we name a starter, I think our offense will be that much better because we'll only be throwing with that person."
While speaking about the offensive line and sacks, Dykes cited how important a quarterback's sense of timing and feel in the pocket are to the success of this offense, which itself depends greatly on timing.
"How quickly does your quarterback get rid of the football? If he stands back there and he's a statue and holds the ball, then you give up sacks," Dykes said. "That's part of it. If he can move a little and shuffle and work the pocket, that helps. It helps the offensive line. If he gets rid of the ball – if he has a sense of timing and a sense of when the pocket's collapsing – then he can prevent you from getting sacks."
One player who is no longer in the discussion is Kyle Boehm. Not only is the 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback out of San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty is listed as a receiver in the Bears media guide, switching from No. 6 to No. 17.
"Kyle, he's very athletic, surprisingly," said Treggs. "He has really good hands, so when he goes out there, we really don't have to coach him up. He's just a natural athlete. He understands how to run routes, and he understands how to catch the ball."
Boehm originally experimented as an inside receiver during spring ball, and after watching more of Boehm's high school tape, the staff decided to make the move permanent.
"He's going to play the inside receiver/fullback guy for us," Dykes said. "He could potentially do some things at quarterback, so we'll see. I like his toughness. I like the way he responded to the move, just as far as putting team first. I love the way he responded to that move. That's a hard thing to do, to say, ‘Hey, we're going to play you some place you've never played before,' but he's physical and he's tough and mean. He catches the ball extremely well. If you're that guy, who's a tough, mean guy with a big body and good hands, this is the offense for you.
"The thing is, he's a big, tough kid. We watched his high school tape, so we knew he was a good athlete, we knew he could run around pretty well. We knew he was pretty physical. How well he could catch the ball, that's one of the things you don't know until you stick him in there, but we saw him do those things and, instead of just making him the fifth-team quarterback who stands there with a clipboard and is pissed off all the time, let's let him try to help us win. He kind of liked it, caught a ball here or there and said, ‘OK, I can do this.'"
Along with Jake Davis and Jacob Wark, Boehm could very well play a big part in the Bone – or Diamond – formation.
"He's a Lucas Gingold type of guy," Dykes said. "That's four of those guys who we think give us some options. Who ends up doing what, we'll let that play out. There's four big-body types there, who give us a chance to be a little more diverse than we've been at times in the past."
The beauty of the Bone formation, of course, is that it is incredibly versatile, with both run and pass options to both sides without changing formation.
"We always talk about simplifying the game, and [the Bone] really simplifies the game," Dykes said. "If they play with one safety and try to get other guys in the box, then we have easy throws on the outside. Are they going to play two safeties and give you numbers in the run game? If you have a really good receiver – which, I think we have some guys who are pretty good – it allows you to isolate those guys in one-on-one. It's a good set for us. It allows us to play with different personnel and run the football and do some good things."
P12 MEDIA DAY: Boehm Makes the Switch
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