The long wait for Cal football to decide on Jared Goff’s successor has finally come to an end, with the Bears announcing Thursday that graduate transfer Davis Webb has won the starting role.
Webb, who previously played at Texas Tech, was the favorite to win the job from the time he committed to joining Cal. He has racked up preseason hype after being named to the preseason watchlist for the Maxwell Award and ESPN’s Mel Kiper named Webb as the 2017 Draft’s top senior quarterback prospect.
The former Red Raider comes out on top of a heated quarterback competition that once featured as many as five guys. That list was cut to three — Webb, Ross Bowers and Goff’s backup, Chase Forrest — heading into Fall camp. Cal head coach Sonny Dykes had previously said the Bears were looking to make a decision early but would not be impatient, waiting until a clear frontrunner emerged.
“We have a great group of quarterbacks here and it is an honor to get the opportunity to start,” Webb said in the press announcing the decision. “College football and particularly the quarterback position is a performance-based deal. My job now is to prepare my best each day and do my job on gameday.”
It ended up taking three full days of camp, but Webb’s arm talent and consistency rose above his competitors. Additionally, he is familiar with offensive coordinator Jake Spavital’s offense, because it runs many of the same plays Webb ran at Texas Tech, limiting his adjustment period.
“Davis’ maturity and knowledge of what we’re trying to do put him a little bit ahead of our other quarterbacks,” Dykes said in the press release. “He’s new to our program but he came in with three seasons of experience at Texas Tech running this style of offense.”
Webb was successful at Texas Tech, though he suffered an ankle injury last season and lost his starting job to Patrick Mahomes, who excelled in the role. Webb started 14 of his 23 games at Texas Tech and racked up 5,557 passing yards to go along with 46 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He completed 61.4 percent of his passes 747 attempts. Webb also won the Offensive MVP award at the 2013 Holiday Bowl, tallying 403 yards and four touchdowns against his future Pac-12 foe, Arizona State.