PITTSBURG, Calif. -- With San Jose State commit Sitaleki Nunn moving on from leading San Mateo (Calif.) Serra to a state title game appearance, the quarterback reins have now been handed to a taller option for the Padres: 6-foot-5, 195-pound Michael Churich.
No question Churich is walking into a fire of expectations considering the Padres’ CIF Central Coast Open Division 2 championship run. But, he’s not the only member of his household who has dealt with scrutiny and thousands of watchful eyes descending upon them in the Bay Area.
His father, Ken Churich, once had thousands watching him, as a California Golden Bears quarterback in the 1980s. The elder Churich is helping prepare his prodigy for the upcoming varsity haul – and Michael Churich has responded by soaking in everything he’s taught, and it's had the added effect of making Cal his dream school.
“I want to go there and follow in his footsteps,” Churich told Scout during Passing Down’s Northern California regional on April 9. “He knows a lot about the game and I have a coach there with me all the time, so if I ever have a question, I ask him. If I need to clean up my motion, he’s there. He’s there to help me out and talk from experience.”
Unlike the 5-foot-11 Nunn, who was more of a read-option dual threat, Churich has the look of a pro-style quarterback who thrives on staying in the pocket and firing away. His film shines a light on a quarterback who stays between his offensive tackles for at least three seconds before finding his open target.
He's not just working with his dad to assemble his quarterback resumé. He latched on with the club team Xclusive Speed to build on his quick release and field vision, which he showed off extensively on at the Los Medanos College field during the last Passing Down tournament.
“It’s a good day to come out and work on your reads and decision making,” Churich said. “You can’t replicate games just like 7v7. It’s good to come out and compete with the best.”
He already knows that his size makes him bigger than most of his 2019 peers.
“I’m pretty big in size. I’m one of the bigger quarterbacks out here, so I feel that I’m strong enough to stay in the pocket and I got a strong arm to make all the throws,” Churich said.
But, he’s not just planning to rely on his size as he braces himself for the upcoming varsity grind.
“I’m working on quicker decision making. You can always get quicker releases and make sure you make the right choice with your receivers,” Churich said.
Cal’s last coaching staff during the Sonny Dykes regime took an early interest in Churich as a sophomore. Churich said Dykes and former offensive coordinator Jake Spavital (now at West Virginia) were the main Golden Bear coaches who interacted with him.
The 3.7 student hopes Cal’s new staff under Justin Wilcox can keep him in mind. Plus, even though he watched Serra’s state run from the sidelines, he already has this goal with the rest of his Padres teammates.
“We’re hungry to get back and get that ring this season,” Churich said.