Football: Maynard talks about starting role

Cal held a conference  call this afternoon with new starting quarterback Zach Maynard. Here is some of what he had to say:

On how long it took him to get comfortable this spring:

“It took me a little while. It took me some time to really get into the playbook and meet with Coach Tedford more and the coaches that are here. It was kind of rough at first. My timing was off. My mechanics were a little too quick for the guys. Over time, it got better. I just had to get my feet wet first and get a feel for it first. I feel good now. Everything is clicking.”


On when he found out and his reaction:

“He told me a couple days ago. I was very excited. It’s a chance to start at Cal. Coming off a whole year of not playing at all, I really wanted to get back into spring ball and use my hard work and dedication to my advantage. I was really excited. It was a huge relief off my shoulders.”


On how much it helps to know he’s the starter before the summer begins:

“I’m not really sure it helps much. When you’re named the starter, I guess you feel like you’re more comfortable. You can’t slack off a little bit. I’m not going to think like I am starting because there’s a long way until the season. We have summer camp. We have conditioning workouts, summer school. I’m going to think like I’m still working for a job.”


On the risk of giving up a starting job at Buffalo to play somewhere else”;

“It was a huge risk. I had to get all of my units to get in school, get all of my transferable units right. I had to get back on the football field and earn another starting job, or at least get into the second string category or above. It was a huge risk. Everything is working itself out.”


On whether Cal was attractive to him because he knew Kevin Riley was graduating:

“I looked at the depth chart and knew he would be graduating, but you have to compete anywhere you go.”


On how much having half-brother Keenan Allen as one of his receivers helped him get the starting job:

“That’s my brother and we have a connection since he was born. It’s great having him out there, someone I can depend on at any cost — whether we’re winning by 50 or losing by 50. Just having my little brother out there has had a huge impact on what we can accomplish. I’m developing chemistry with other guys, too. Me and Marv Jones have a little chemistry — the running backs, the linemen — I’m trying to get a good feel with everybody, not just my brother.”


On whether it’s redemption to earn a starting job at a major school after having major schools back off of him in high school while he tried to pass the ACT:

“This is my dream, always has been my dream — to play at a huge university. Having a chance to do that coming from Buffalo, it’s a huge blessing. I’m looking forward to it.”


On whether Tedford told him he still had to compete for the job during the fall:

“He just told me I earned the starting job. You still have to compete. You have to perform and produce in practice.”

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • wehofx

    >>>…to earn a starting job at a major school after having major schools back off of him in high school while he tried to pass the ACT>>>

    How many “stars”/how highly was he ranked as a HS QB?

    Great to have you back, JO.

    Go Bears!

  • CalChicago

    I think he only got 2 stars coming out of high school. I hope his propensity to throw interceptions can be resolved by better QB coaches at Cal.