Pac-12 Quarterback Freshman Evaluation: Zach Kline, Cal

Jed Jacobsohn - Getty Images

We conclude our look at Pac-12 quarterbacks by checking out Zach Kline, the California Golden Bear quarterback commit from San Ramon Valley for the 2012 recruiting class.

Commitment: Cal

Measurables: 6'2", 210 pounds

High school: San Ramon Valley, Danville, CA

Watching Kline on tape pretty much confirms my original position on him. He's the best pure quarterback in this Pac-12 class talent-wise and potential-wise, and the player who has the best chance to start in the near future given his current abilities. Kline has the toughest offense to deal with and seems to have adapted well to his circumstances.

Kline operates in a pro-style offense at San Ramon Valley and can play under center and in shotgun. He can operate in a one back offense and disperse the ball to his receivers or even operate a decent zone read. He was no slouch either, completing nearly 70% of his passes (and over 70% if you don't count the games he was overwhelmed by powerhouse De La Salle), his senior season for over 10 yards per pass attempt. SRV is not known for being a powerhouse, making his production that much more impressive.

Kline has good arm strength and velocity and can throw a football that leads and finds his receiver. He does a good job moving out of the pocket and making quick decisions once he leaves it, either scrambling and throwing the football on the move to an open receiver or targeting a receiver coming with him on the throw. He seems plenty adapatable when things are breaking down in pass protection.

When he's in the pocket and has time to operate, he already shows his first glimpses of being a good pro-style quarterback, as he's able to look off one defender, forcing him out of position to ensure his next target will be wide open on the football field. He's able to make quick reads to ensure the safety is looking away from his intended target, providing him with an easier window to get a better result on the play.

There will always be demand for a young quarterback at Cal to take the reins as long as the senior players aren't getting the job done, and you can expect Tedford to start hearing calls to put Kline on the field as early as the beginning of next season. This time though, the merits may be warranted. Kline looks like he's more than capable of developing into a very special quarterback.

After the jump, additional stuff on Kline, including his video.

Here's his highlight tape.

Kline is already on campus.

Kline is now just another shaggy-haired freshman living in the dorms and trying to figure it all out while learning head coach Jeff Tedford's challenging playbook and taking 13 units in history, physics and sociology.

"I thought it'd be the best thing for me, learn the playbook, learn the speed of college and get those freshman moments out of the way, (like) getting lost going to class," Kline said Monday. "Being a freshman on the team, as freshmen anywhere, you go from high school being the big man on campus to the bottom of the totem pole."

"I was terrible last year," Kline said. "I was just bad. I'm not going to lie, it was a struggle all season long for me. I battled as hard as I could but it was rough."

Fast forward just one year and Kline said it's almost as if he's playing a different sport this season.

"The game has really slowed down for me," Kline said. "Everything is so much different and I'm loving it. We have great receivers, our offensive line is incredible, the play calling is much better because we have the weapons now and I'm making much better decisions with the ball.

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