Cal graduate transfer quarterback Davis Webb is named to Maxwell Watch List

New Cal quarterback Davis Webb follows in the footsteps of No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, and is named to the Maxwell Award Watch List.

Video above is from May 18.

Although California head coach Sonny Dykes has yet to officially name Davis Webb the starter for the Golden Bears in 2016, the former Texas Tech signal caller -- and current Cal graduate transfer -- was named Tuesday to the 80th annual Maxwell Award Watch List, just like his predecessor, No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Jared Goff. The award has been given to the nation's College Player of the Year since 1937, and is named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell for his extensive contributions to the game including time as a player, sportswriter and official.

Webb has a leg up on the quarterback competition to replace Goff -- the holder of 26 school passing records -- in large part because the offense he ran under Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech is nearly identical to the one which will be run at Cal by new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital. Dykes called the situation a "perfect marriage" because Spavital and Webb "speak the same language."

"All these things that take years to develop, he can do that today, and he can do that yesterday, and that's what makes this such a unique situation for everybody involved," Dykes said of Webb's knowledge of the intricacies of an offense that he's coached in since he began his career under Hal Mumme.

Spavital coming on board was "a huge part," Webb said. "Spav is the biggest part of this whole thing -- his relationship with Davis," Dykes said. "They were familiar with each other. He did a great job of recruiting him and making him feel comfortable ... Jake was the most critical part of this."

"I've put in hard work for three years learning this offense, and I didn't want that to go to waste," Webb said.

Webb -- named the top senior quarterback in this draft class by ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, was previously on the Maxwell Award Watch List during his 2014 sophomore season with the Red Raiders, but he injured his left shoulder on Sept. 25 against Oklahoma State, and then suffered a season-ending injury to his ankle the next week against TCU. That season, Webb threw for 2,539 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

During Webb's time on the shelf, Patrick Mahomes emerged as a star for Texas Tech, averaging 439.6 passing yards and 4.6 touchdowns per game in his first three games, and starting all 13 games last season.

In his career in Lubbock, Webb completed 459-of-747 passes (61.4%) for 5,557 yards with 46 touchdowns and 22 interceptions for a 138.4 passer efficiency rating in 23 games played and 14 starts over the last three seasons. He ranks eighth among the the Red Raiders' all-time leaders in passing touchdowns, tenth in passing yards and touchdowns responsible for (49), and 11th in passing completions, passing attempts and total offense (5,567).

As a true freshman, Webb played in 10 games with six starts, beating then-No. 14 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl and throwing for 2,718 yards on 226-of-361 passing, with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions for a 139.1 passer rating. He set seven Big 12 freshman records and four school freshman records, and was named an honorable mention Freshman All-American. Webb threw for over 400 yards on four occasions that first year, and over 300 yards six times to set freshman school marks in both categories, including a Big 12 and school freshman record 462 yards at West Virginia.

Those numbers earned him spots on the Maxwell list, as well as the watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award and Manning Award.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced October 31, 2016, while the three finalists will be unveiled November 21, 2016. The winners of the 2016 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held onDecember 8, 2016. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 10, 2017.

The Maxwell Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 722 years of tradition-selected excellence. The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Sixteen of the association's 22 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates.

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