New California coach Sonny Dykes announced Friday morning that true freshman Jared Goff will be his starting quarterback.
Goff had been locked in a three-way competition with redshirt freshman Zach Kline and junior Austin Hinder since the start of spring ball in February. Since the start of fall camp, however, Goff and Kline had emerged as the top two candidates.
"We have had a fiercely contested competition for our starting quarterback position," Dykes said in a statement. "It's important to name a starter and give them the reps they need to be prepared to play. We feel that right now Jared Goff gives us the best chance to be successful as a team, but we are very fortunate to have three outstanding quarterbacks we feel we can be successful with."
Goff came in with added experience as one of the top finishers at Elite 11, a quarterback competition for prep athletes.
The Bears have one of the more challenging schedules in the country -- opening the year on Aug. 31 at home against Northwestern (No. 22 in the coaches' poll released earlier this month) and then hosting Ohio State (No. 2 in the coaches' poll) on Sept. 14. Plus they play in the Pac-12 North, which features a pair of top-five teams in Stanford (No. 4) and Oregon (No. 3).
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Goff from nearby Novato, Calif. (Marin Catholic High School), threw for 7,687 yards and 93 touchdowns with 18 interceptions in three years of varsity football.
"I'm honored to get the chance to start for Cal and am looking forward to going out and helping the team win," Goff said. "I'm super excited and ready to get rolling. My competitors are great quarterbacks as well. It was a tremendous competition that has helped all us become better quarterbacks."
Goff steps into an offensive system that has proved to be extremely productive. Last year at Louisiana Tech, Dykes had the No. 1 scoring offense in the country, averaging 51.5 points per game, and the No. 1 total offense, averaging 577.9 yards per game.