Thursday, May 12, 2011
Zach Kline latest UA All-American
By Jamie Newberg
He's already planned where he's going to college, but Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley Watch List QB Zach Kline still had one more thing on his to-do list.
He had to pick an all-star game for his final high school football game and the Cal commit chose to play in the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game.
"I am very excited," Kline said. "I am saying goodbye to my family before I go to college so this is big for me and big for my family. To go out like this and to play in that game is great. It's a fun game, a great game and I am honored to play in it."
Kline will join a strong contingent of quarterbacks in Orlando for the UA game and practices, including Conner Brewer (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral), Preston Dewey (Austin, Texas/St. Andrews), Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind./East) and Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala./Hueytown). Brewer is a Texas commit, while the others are undecided.
"Zach is a standout who's fundamentally sound," said Tom Luginbill, ESPN's national director of football recruiting. "He has great feet, a super delivery, all the proper mechanics of delivering a football. Zach is ahead of the curve in this regard. He really reminds us of a stronger armed Jake Heaps [who plays at BYU]."
Kline, 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, committed to Cal in September and plans to enroll early, basically playing in the Under Armour All-America Game and then heading to Berkeley.
"Cal is the best of both worlds with football and academics," Kline said. "It seems like the best choice, was the best choice, and is best choice for me. After watching some practices there you can tell there is a huge difference between high school football and playing in college. The playbook is thicker and the speed is faster. Once I get used to it the game will slow down, and the best way to do that is to be there, so I decided to graduate early."
He knows coach Jeff Tedford's history with quarterbacks, specifically the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, and is eager to get better and help the Bears compete for Pac-12 Conference championships.
"Coach Tedford is a great guy and very easy to talk with," Kline said. "You can talk with him about anything. In fact, I love his entire staff. Cal is a team on the upswing. They have new facilities and a lot of renovations. I want to be a part of that and we will be a Rose Bowl contender.
"Watching what has come out of Berkeley does help. It looks good in the sense that I will be a QB where the Super Bowl MVP played. Tedford knows how to coach quarterbacks and they give you the tools to succeed. It's so appealing."
But it's not just football for Kline. He knows nothing is guaranteed in the sport and that a Cal degree will set him up for success.
"Academics were big for me because you never know when you are done with football," Kline said. "If football works out, Cal is great. If it doesn't, you have a Cal education and that means a good life with that education. The two sides are good. It's the best of both worlds."
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.