- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jared Goff talks with the confidence of a fourth-year starter. But Cal’s true freshman quarterback, who was named the starter last week, will have that confidence tested with three of his first four games against top 25 teams -- including No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Oregon. He took some time to chat with the Pac-12 blog about the job, his receivers and his expectations for 2013.
Jared Goff, starting quarterback. Has that sunk in yet?
Jared Goff: Definitely. It’s definitely set in. Probably Sunday or Monday. They made the decision on Friday, and Friday and Saturday were crazy with texts and calls every hour of the day. I think I handled it pretty well. Then we started preparing for Northwestern this week, and that’s when it really sunk in.
Jared Goff, starting quarterback, who has to face Northwestern, Ohio State and Oregon in three of his first four career games. Has that sunk in yet?
JG: Right now we’re just focused on Northwestern. Obviously, I know we've got a tough schedule coming up this year. But we’re focused on Northwestern. Ohio State and Oregon and all of those other great teams, those will come when the time comes. Right now we’re focused on Northwestern. That’s all we can do.
What was your confidence level like during the competition? Did you feel like this was your job to lose?
JG: Not really. I had two great competitors right beside me. In my opinion, they are two of the best quarterbacks in the country. They are great competitors and great people, and they really supported me when the decision came out. I really respect them for that. They are going to continue to push me and support me and be ready should anything happen ... It was a lot of congratulations from them. They were really respectful and mature about it, and they handled it with a lot of class.
You’ve got some good, young wide receivers to throw to. What are your thoughts on that group?
JG: They’re incredible. We’re extremely, extremely deep at wide receiver. We’ve got guys that could play anywhere else that might not get that much time this year because of how deep we are. Guys like Bryce Treggs, Chris Harper, Kenny Lawler, Darius Powe, Richard Rodgers, Jackson Bouza. All those guys are incredible. They run great routes and have great hands. We’re really starting to mesh together. It’s a good looking group.
Because it’s a younger group, does that make it a little easier for you to get on the same page with them as a true freshman rather than trying to win over a bunch of 22- or 23-year-olds?
JG: It definitely helps that they are all pretty much my age, 19 or 20. Jackson is almost 23. He’s the oldest on the offense and he’s the veteran. But most of them are pretty young, and it makes it a lot easier to mesh with them and get to know them.
You committed to Jeff Tedford, but stayed with Sonny Dykes. Was that because of your dad’s ties to the school (he was an All-American catcher)? Did you consider switching after the coaching change?
JG: With my decision, my dad going here didn't really have much to do with it. It was more of a bonus. It was a cool thing that my parents went here. But that didn't drive me to pick Cal. But as far as coach Tedford being let go and coach Dykes came in, I was definitely cautious at first and I wanted to see who they were going to hire. But the whole time I was going to stick with Cal. I knew I was. And when they hired coach Dykes, it made it that much easier. And with the new offense, it made it that much better.
Is this the kind of offense you wanted to be in? It’s quite a contrast to the pro-style system coach Tedford was running. Or did the scheme not matter?
JG: I just wanted to play. I think I can fit in many offenses. But this offense really suits me well. I ran something similar in high school, so it makes sense. It's a perfect fit for me.
How much do you think enrolling early made a difference in the competition?
JG: It made all the difference. If I didn't do that I would not be in the situation I am right now. For sure.
In your eyes, what would make a successful first season?
JG: Our goal right now is the Rose Bowl. That’s what we’re shooting for. That’s what we’re working for every day. That’s what we’re trying to do, and that’s all we can expect right now.