The short answer to the question above is probably not very much.
Redshirt freshman Zach Kline’s decision to transfer is the right decision for him and likely won’t have substantial impact on Cal’s 2014 season.
The choice was a simple one for Kline: Did he want to remain a student at Cal or potentially become a starting quarterback at another school?
Players want to play, and that supercedes nearly everything else. Kline told me repeatedly he wanted to remain at Cal, and I believe him. He grew up in Danville and is surrounded locally by friends and family.
But he also wants to become a college starting quarterback, and he became convinced it wasn’t likely to happen at Cal.
There was a perception this season that the competition between Kline and freshman Jared Goff was close in the minds of Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. I don’t think they viewed it that way.
On multiple occasions they had the opportunity to reward Kline with a starting assignment, and they never did it. The view Goff as their guy, young but with more potential than Kline.
Maybe Kline merely needs a different system and a different set of eyes on him. He has a great arm and a natural quarterback charisma. I have no doubt he will flourish in the right setting.
As for the Bears in 2014, pencil in senior-to-be Austin Hinder as the No. 2 behind Goff with incoming freshman Luke Rubenzer waiting closely in the wings.
I expect Rubenzer to be red-shirted next season . . . unless Goff is injured early and there is an opportunity for someone else to start a decent stretch of games. If that were to transpire, this coaching staff will play the best man.
Rubenzer’s credentials this season are impressive: His Saguaro HS team from Scottsdale, Ariz., was 13-1, won its final 13 games and won the Arizona Division III state title last Friday with a 47-25 win over Queen Creek.
Rubenzer passed for more than 4,200 yards and a state-record 61 touchdowns with just three interceptions this season, and ran for 1,200 more and 10 TDs. His 130 career TD passes also set an Arizona prep record.
In the state semifinals a week-and-a-half ago, Rubenzer threw for 558 yards and nine touchdowns in a 77-48 win over Desert Edge.
Yes, he’s just 5-foot-11 1/2, but check out the two little guys playing quarterback in tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup: 6-foot Drew Brees of the Saints vs. 5-11 Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.