BERKELEY -- Watching all of California's five quarterback contenders square off on Monday, it was hard not to make some snap judgements. Luke Rubenzer's arm is certainly much stronger than it was last time he took snaps from center, but his release is still a bit lengthy, and his low launch point is worrisome, given the height and length of Pac-12 defensive fronts. Ross Bowers is certainly much thicker and stronger, but he still looks to be the most slender amongst the contenders. That certainly didn't hurt Jared Goff, but Bowers doesn't have Goff's height or quick release. Not many do.
Max Gilliam is intriguing. He looks a bit stiff in the hips and maybe a little tentative with the ball at this point, but it was his first collegiate practice. He should still be in high school right now, after all. He's definitely a wait-and-see, because there was a lot to like, but a bit to be worried about, like a loopy release and a high carriage that drops when he readies to throw. That didn't show up on his high school tape, so maybe it's just some wrinkles being ironed out.
Zach Kline, as we've said before, looks to have changed his arm slot, and while he has more touch than he did last go-around, it's still not his specialty. His bread and butter will always be the long bomb and the short bullet pass.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1649962-bttv-zach-kline-s-... But, we're going to look today, in-depth, at the presumptive favorite to take over for Goff back of center (and sometimes under center, if Monday was any indication): Chase Forrest.
Forrest looks the most like Goff, from a mechanical standpoint, and that makes sense, given that he learned a lot over the past two years under Tony Franklin, and developed as a passer in Goff's shadow.
You can see that early on in the tape from practice, with his hot, typewriter feet chattering. The function of that is that he keeps his feet always in motion, so that he's ready to throw at the drop of a hat, and doesn't have to reset, because he's constantly resetting.
Forrest has that nice, compact, over-the-top release, keeps the ball close to his body and delivers the ball with some good velocity. He's not going to have Kline's cannon, but he has more than adequate arm talent, and a bit more polish to his game than the other quarterbacks on the field. The thing that stands out to me is the repeatability of his delivery. Obviously, different throws requrie different launch points and arm angles, but watching multiple throws on the same route, it's like watching the same throw over and over again, and that consistency shows throughout his entire game.
Forrest was the one quarterback who consistently hit his downfield receivers in the pat-and-go in stride, without having them speed up or show down or, in some quarterbacks' cases, stop dead. Again, it looks a lot like Goff.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1649956-bttv-up-close-look... I included some of the misses just to show where he can get better, and because I wanted to show a complete picture of what I saw in practice. You'll see fewer outright misses from Forrest than the other quarterbacks we'll be running film on, and far more leading the receiver, hitting the back shoulder and throwing to the back hip when the route dictates it.
There are some whiffs, as when he throws behind Bug Rivera at 1:01, and immediately following that, there's a great breakup by Antoine Albert. At 1:15 you see him open up the receiver over the middle -- Vic Wharton -- by giving him a chance to acclerate into the ball and take him up the seam. If you're going to miss, miss high (not short, where a DB can jump the route), and that's what he's done so far in practice. At 1:48 is arguably the play of the day for both Forrest and receiver Chad Hansen. While Hansen is in blanket coverage, he still insinuates himself between the defensive back and the ball. Forrest throws it to where only Hansen can get it (it may be broken up, but it won't be picked), and Strickland does a good job of shielding the ball and coming down with it up the seam.
Forrest does have a tendency to look down at the ball when re-setting it in his hands following the shotgun snap, and I'd like to see him keep his eeys downfield as much as possible, instead of pulling his eyes down. On the two plays starting at 2:21, I'm going to take the focus off of Forrest for a moment, and draw your attention to the speed of Greyson Bankhead (13) and Brandon Singleton (19). Yes, Cal is losing Kenny Lawler and Bryce Treggs, but these two have some serious get-up-and-go, and Singleton has some wiggle that he shows on a devastating double move that shakes veteran corner Darius Allensworth.null