http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1764696-brandon-mcilwain-t... "First off," Gilliam said in a tweet, "I would like to thank all my teammates at Cal for making this last year one of the best times of my life. I would also like to thank Coach Dykes (former head coach Sonny Dykes) for giving me the opportunity to play at Cal as well as thank the current staff for all they have done for me. With that being said, I would like to announce that I will be receiving an unconditional release and will be eligible to transfer in or out of conference."
Gilliam was listed as the No. 3 quarterback on the post-spring depth chart, behind redshirt junior Chase Forrest and redshirt sophomore Ross Bowers, who were both listed in the top slot, after 15 spring practices of competition. Gilliam has not played a single in-game snap.
"We support Max's decision and appreciate the contributions he made at Cal," head coach Justin Wilcox told BearTerritory. "We wish him all the best moving forward."
With the addition of Chase Garbers, coming in as a freshman, and the transfer of Brandon McIlwain from South Carolina, it was expected that there could be some attrition in the quarterback ranks. While McIlwain will have to sit this year, he would be in the thick of the quarterback competition next season, after playing eight games in the SEC -- more than Bowers and Forrest combined over the last three years behind Jared Goff and Davis Webb.
The Thousand Oaks (Calif.) product enrolled at Cal in January of 2016, after piling up 7,624 total yards of offense in two years as the starter for the Lancers. In those two years, Gilliam was responsible for 91 touchdowns, throwing for 6,333 yards and 69 touchdowns on 428-of-599 passing (71.8%), while adding 1,291 yards rushing and 22 scores over 25 games.
The Bears had one quarterback in the 2018 class committed -- Adrian Martinez -- but he's since flipped to Tennessee. Cal has an offer out to local star Spencer Petras, and he is Cal's primary quarterback target. The Bears would effectively add two quarterbacks for the 2018 class in whoever signs, plus McIlwain, which would give Cal six scholarship quarterbacks after National Signing Day, including redshirt freshman Victor Viramontes.
In the spring game, Gilliam went 2-4 for 10 yards with a TD pass to Alex Netherda. In the previous year's spring game, he went 7-for-10 for 80 yards, rushing for 36 yards on 3 carries.