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Football: Dykes sees Zach Kline ‘make a move’ in three-way battle for starting QB job

Nothing is settled, but for perhaps the first time on Monday coach Sonny Dykes suggested a leader in the quarterback battle.

“Looks a little bit like Zach Kline is starting to get a little bit more settled in,” Dykes said of the redshirt freshman from San Ramon Valley High. “I’ve seen him kind of make a move here over the last two practices.”

Kline, freshman Jared Goff and junior Austin Hinder have battled throughout the spring and shared reps. Cal has two more practices — Wednesday and Friday — before closing down for the off-season with its spring game Saturday at Memorial Stadium, beginning at 4 p.m.

Asked if he has any clarity on the quarterback picture, Dykes initially said, “I’m liking what I’m seeing from all of them.”

Then he singled out Kline.

“His reads are happening a little faster, seems like he’s a little more accurate on his mid-range throws than he was,” Dykes said. “I saw some of that in the scrimmage Saturday and it carried over to practice today.

“I think he’s improved and getting better and better. It’s good to see that.”

Kline said he hasn’t been given any indication by the coaching staff that he has perhaps moved to the head of the class.

“Can’t really pay attention to anything, unless it’s constructive criticism,” he said. “Just got to keep doing what you’re doing, day in and day out.”

But Kline did say he is seeing the game better now.

“Oh yeah, totally. I’m feeling like this is my offense now. I’m feeling like this is my team now,” he said. “I’m comfortable in it. Coming off being a red-shirt freshman last year and being new to everything, you just feel like you’re part of the team.

“Now I feel like this is my team, this is family.”

Kline said he wasn’t satisfied with his scrimmage performance on Saturday, but is excited about the spring game.

“A lot of growing to do. Right now I’m just trying to get better each day. Last scrimmage, I tried to make the most of it — be consistent with the ball, just put the ball in the end zone,” he said.

“I wish I did better. I’ve always got to be the toughest critic — that’s how you become a great quarterback.”

Dykes said all three quarterbacks are beginning to understand how to use their velocity appropriately.

As he’s done throughout spring ball, Kline said the competition is fierce, and he doesn’t expected to be settled until fall camp.

“Everyone’s making their reads, everyone’s doing well. There’s no weak links in this competition,” he said. “This is going to definitely be a battle, right up to the first week (of the season). This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

“But you do want to have a good start.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Ive never had a favorite in the qb battle. But i guess this kline kid seems okay.

  • Bigdruid

    Heh, that gave me a chuckle :)

  • drizzlyboy

    Reading between the lines, it appears Dykes doesn’t like Kline, may even try to get him to transfer, but is too afraid of Juancho to come out and say it.

  • Kotempman

    I Klined of expected this….

  • The Wisdom Cow

    No new basketball posts yet, so here is a repost . . .

    ESPN Challenge is up. Come one, come all, and enter the group “BANG Bracket” to go against other regulars. Only 1 entry allowed (in this group per account – you can make up to 10 which can each be entered in 3 different groups if you like to cover your bases), so you have to choose to be realistic or hopeful to be top among the BANGers.

    If someone wants to let the folks on Wilner’s excuse for a blog know, feel free. I don’t go there anymore.

  • Juancho

    I have joined.

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    I don’t care who the QB is, as long as we WIN!

    I was thinking Tiny Moala was the darkhorse for QB.

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    Joined the bracket… only 5 entries! C’mon people!

  • BlueNGold

    Coach Dykes was interviewed by T. Tolbert and R. Ratto on KNBR yesterday afternoon and I was impressed. Not so much by what was said, which was pretty much what you would expect a coach to be saying at this point in the spring. What impressed me was that he talks in specifics, not generalities, and he explains the bases for his opinions and beliefs. And he seems to have a really good grasp of the conference and the strengths of the various teams. Not surprising since he worked at AZ recently, but its good to hear that he has done his homework and seems prepared for the upcoming season, including the very challenging OOC schedule.