Following the loss of last year’s first- and second-choice quarterbacks to the transfer portal, Jake Spavital’s Cal offense has filled its most critical void.
Redshirt freshman Sam Jackson will join Cal from TCU, as Cal football announced this morning. Jackson was a four-star prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, ranking seventh overall in his home state of Illinois and 32nd nationally among quarterbacks. He went on to redshirt his first year in Fort Worth before he battled for the starting job at the beginning of this season, losing out to College Football Playoff finalist and starter Max Duggan.
In his three brief cameos for the Frogs this season, Jackson threw 5-5 for 63 yards and ran for 64 yards on the ground.
Jackson’s dual-threat profile will add a novel dimension to the blue and gold offense — one that Spavital appears to demand. While outgoing quarterback Jack Plummer could occasionally scramble, he was not renowned for his running ability like Jackson, who was classified as a dual-threat quarterback by recruiting databases. His stats at TCU, albeit sparse, attest to his ability to make plays with his feet just as well as his arm at the college level.
Jackson’s success could be a major coup for a Cal program that has failed to make a bowl game in three consecutive years. With significant coaching staff turnover and a new type of gunslinger potentially starting under center, the Bears may have generated the spark they need to turn their fortunes around.
Cal football’s 2023 transfer portal class now ranks No. 18, per On3.