During the most recent NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams drafted California Golden Bear Quarterback, Jared Goff, with their number 1 pick.
Goff signed with the California Bears out of Kentfield, California’s Marin Catholic High School. He was a 4 star recruit, but the 20th rated Quarterback in the nation that season.
So, who was ahead of him?
1. Christian Hackenberg – Fort Union, Virginia; Penn State: Hackenberg was recruited by then Penn State coach Bill O’Brien who coached him one year before heading to the Houston Texans. Hackenberg started 3 years for the Penn State Nittany Lions and was actually better as a true freshman than in later seasons. I wrote about Hackenberg here: Stay in school but he did not listen to me and declared for the NFL and he was picked in the 2nd round by the New York Jets.
2. Max Browne – Sammamish, Washington; USC: Signing with USC, Browne has patiently waited his turn behind Cody Kessler. He should start in 2016 as a redshirt junior and he has looked really good in opportunities, and in Spring practices. Browne is 6-5, 220 and has a great arm. He still has a shot at a successful college and NFL career.
3. Cooper Bateman – Salt Lake City, Utah; Alabama: Bateman has been buried on the depth chart at Alabama, but he is first in line for the opportunity to start for the Crimson Tide this season. If he plays well, he will be the starter for the next two years. If he falters, he will languish on the bench in Tuscaloosa.
4. Ryan Burns – Ashburn, Virginia; Stanford: Burns is battling with Keller Chryst for the starting job and they may be running neck and neck. Burns and Chryst looked very similar in the Spring Game. Comp Burns has only thrown 1 pass in all of his time at Stanford. He is big at 6-5, 235 and he runs really well. Stanford could still name him the starter.
5. Kevin Olsen – Wayne, New Jersey; Miami: This troubled youngster is the little brother of outstanding Carolina Panther Greg Olsen. Greg is a model citizen and family man, but Kevin was kicked out of Miami. He transferred to Towson, but was booted again. He then wound up at Riverside City College where he was marginally successful. After playing one season of Junior College football, Olsen transferred again to North Carolina Charlotte. He has 2 years of eligibility remaining.
6. Kohl Stewart – Houston, Texas; Texas A%M: Even though Stewart signed with the Aggies, he never played a down for them. Instead, he signed a lucrative contract with the Minnesota Twins and is still playing baseball.
7. Brice Ramsey – Kingsland, Georgia; Georgia: Ramsey has been a back up for the Bulldogs and threw only 35 passes a year ago. He may never play with the arrival of hot shot recruit Jacob Eason, but he is a good punter. If punting is enough for him, then he may stay at Georgia. If not, he may still transfer out.
8. Shane Morris – Warren, Michigan; Michigan: Morris completed 14 out of 40 passes under former Michigan coach Brady Hoke in 2014 with 3 Interceptions and 0 Touchdowns. In 2013, he threw 47 passes and completed 29 for 261 yards and 2 Interceptions. He has thrown 5 Interceptions with 0 Touchdowns. If new coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t think highly of Morris, then he probably would not have redshirted him last year. Morris still has 2 seasons to play at Michigan, but he has to beat out a few talented Quarterbacks.
9. Jeremy Johnson – Montgomery, Alabama; Auburn: At 6-5, 230 and with a strong arm, Johnson
looked like a future Heisman winner to Auburn fans after the 2014 season. But, he did not have a good 2015 season. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is infatuated with former Florida State Quarterback John Franklin who some are comparing to former Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall. Johnson is still in contention for the starting job, but time is running out on him.
10. Zack Greenlee – Stockton, California; Fresno State: Greenlee redshirted as a freshman and then he backed up Brian Burrell during his redshirt freshman season. Last year, Greenlee split time with Kilton Anderson and threw for 866 yards and 13 Touchdowns.
11. Aaron Zwahlen – Modesto, California; Hawaii: Zwahlen delayed his college football career to go on a two year church mission. He finally arrived at Hawaii and then redshirted. He still has a shot at starting.
12. Danny Etling – Terre Huate, Indiana; Purdue: Etling was a part time starter at Purdue in 2014, but Austin Appleby moved ahead of him. Etling transferred to LSU, where he was supposedly in competition with Brandon Harris. But, there was never much competition and the Tigers were always going with Brandon Harris. Etling will finish his college days as a back up.
13. Cody Thomas – Colleyville, Texas; Oklahoma: Thomas was a career back up at Oklahoma, but this past off season he announced he was quitting football to concentrate on baseball.
14. Chris Laviano – Hicksville, New York; Rutgers: Redshirting as a true freshman, he backed up Gary Nova as a redshirt freshman. Last year, Laviano beat out LSU transfer Hayden Rettig for the starting job and played the entire season throwing for 2,247 yards and 16 Touchdowns.
15. Ryan Buchanan – Jackson, Mississippi; Ole Miss: Things are not looking good for Buchanan and playing time at Ole Miss. Bo Wallace started and then used up his eligibility. Chad Kelly transferred in from a Junior College and took over the starting role. The Rebels have super Quarterback Shea Patterson coming in the summer and he might just be the top Quarterback in the country. The chances of Buchanan playing were getting slimmer and slimmer, so he recently decided to quit football and concentrate on his studies.
16. Riley Ferguson – Matthews, North Carolina; Tennessee: He left Tennessee after his freshman year and went back to North Carolina and worked for a year. He returned to football at Coffeyville Community College. He was somewhat highly recruited and signed with Memphis who lost Paxton Lynch to the NFL. He should have a chance at the starting job with a brand new coach in Memphis.
17. Hayden Rettig – Los Angeles, California; LSU: Rettig signed with LSU, but was 3rd team and decided to find another place to play. He transferred to Rutgers where he lost out to Chris Laviano for the starting job last season. His chances of playing Quarterback in college are diminishing daily.
18. Connor Mitch – Raleigh, North Carolina; South Carolina: After redshirting, Mitch backed up Dylan Thompson in 2014. In 2015, Perry Orth and true freshman Lorenzo Nunez moved ahead of
Connor Mitch. With Steve Spurrier out and Will Muschamp the new head coach, Mitch recently announced he was transferring. He has graduated and can play anywhere without sitting out a season and Quarterbacks have not done well playing for Muschamp.
19. Max Staver – Brentwood, Tennessee; Florida: Staver transferred to a JC and then to Houston Baptist and just hasn’t panned out. He is 6-6, 240 and it’s really unfortunate.
20. JARED GOFF – KENTFIELD, CALIFORNIA; CAL: 3 year starter and first guy taken in the most recent draft.
Others of note:
23. Austin Allen – Fayetteville, Arkansas; Arkansas: Brandon Allen started the past few years for the Razorbacks and now younger brother Austin is slated to take over. He looked really good in the Spring.
24. Davis Webb – Prosper, Texas; Texas Tech: Started at Tech as a true freshman, but eventually lost his job to Patrick Mahomes. He recently announced he was transferring to Colorado and then reneged on that and looked around and decided on California that just lost Jared Goff.
27. Luke Del Rio – Highlands Ranch, Colorado: Jack Del Rio’s son turned down scholarship offers to walk on at Alabama. When Nick Saban hired former USC coach Lane Kiffin, Del Rio hit the road to Oregon State. When the Beavers lost head coach Mike Riley and hired Gary Andersen, Del Rio
packed his bags because Andersen ran a different kind of Offense that does not suit Luke Del Rio’s skill set. Del Rio wound up at Florida and had to sit out last year. He should start at Quarterback for the Gators this year and he is a talent. He’s not big, but he throws a beautiful and accurate pass.
34. Richard Lagow – Plano, Texas; Connecticut: He left UConn when the coaches that recruited him left. He walked on at Oklahoma State but was never given a fair shake. He wound up at Cisco Junior College and then signed with Indiana and Kevin Wilson and could start for the Hoosiers and be a big time Quarterback. Lagow is 6-6, 240 and is an athlete. I think a lot of people missed on this guy for some reason.
38. John O’Korn – Ft Lauderdale, Florida; Houston: The St Thomas Aquinas product signed with Houston where he started as a true freshman and threw for over 3,000 yards. They replaced him in Houston and he transferred to Michigan. After sitting out 2015, O’Korn could start for Jim Harbaugh next year.
63. Luke Falk – St Lake City, Utah; Washington State: Late signature with Washington State, he got his chance when Connor Halliday broke his leg. Falk threw for over 4,500 yards last season. System Quarterback, but he is a pretty good one.
69. Baker Mayfield – Lake Travis, Texas: Mayfield’s story is well known now walking on at Texas Tech and sharing time with Davis Webb before transferring to Oklahoma. Mayfield Mayfield won the coveted Burlsworth Award last year for the nation’s best Walk-on.
83. Tanner Lee – New Orleans, Louisiana; Tulane: Lee stayed home to attend Tulane after being lightly recruited. When Tulane fired their coach and brought in a coach with a running offense, Lee decided to look for greener pastures. He transferred to Nebraska and will have to sit out next season.
Nobody much loves college football recruiting more than I do, but this is just more evidence of what a crap shoot it can be at times.