Quarterback Ross Bowers headlines Cal football departures

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In a widely speculated move, the man behind one of the most recognizable plays in Cal football history is transferring from the program.

As announced this week, quarterback Ross Bowers — the team’s 2017 starter who famously front-flipped his way to a 37-3 upset of then No. 8 Washington State — is one of seven student-athletes leaving the Bears for a change in scenery.

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After kicking off 2018 as Cal’s incumbent starter, Bowers was replaced at halftime of the team’s season-opening win over UNC, losing playing time to redshirt freshman Chase Garbers and redshirt sophomore Brandon McIlwain. A thumb injury further derailed his season, as he sported a cast sometime during the Bears’ bye week and never returned to action.

A year ago, the former Bothell High School star threw for more than 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns during his redshirt sophomore campaign, starting all 12 games after winning a friendly quarterback competition with Chase Forrest.

Last week, former UCLA quarterback Devon Modster announced his intentions to head north and join forces with the Bears starting this spring, further complicating a quarterback situation that has been anything but fluid this year.

Bowers is joined by running backs Johnny Adams Jr., Biaggio Ali Walsh and Derrick Clark, along with receivers Greyson Bankhead and Brandon Singleton, as members of Beau Baldwin’s offense who will be transferring. As for the defense, senior linebacker Derron Brown — who never reported to fall camp due to personal reasons — is the only known transfer on that side of the ball at this time

On the flip side, Cal landed 25 new faces on National Early Signing Day, including Modster and Arizona-native quarterback Spencer Brasch.


Josh Yuen covers football. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @joshcal2020.