A few years ago ESPN decided to declare that particular year, "The Year of the Quarterback". The reason behind it seemed to have more to do with having an excuse to produce content on quarterbacks than anything else and I'm sure the people in marketing loved it.
There is no marketing or public relations behind it, but it's not a stretch to declare the 2015 recruiting class "The Year of the Quarterback" in the state of California. Simply put, the state is loaded with big time prospects this season that are headed to play major college football. The list includes Josh Rosen (UCLA), Ricky Town (USC), Sam Darnold (USC), Brady White (Arizona State), Travis Waller (Oregon), and Jake Browning (Washington). All of them are highly ranked and had offers from around the nation in addition to schools in the Pac-12. There are also two other big time quarterbacks from California headed to SEC schools. I think you get the point: there is a ridiculous amount of talent at the position.
With that in mind, it makes complete sense that Cal would accept a commitment from a quarterback from...Bothell, Washington?
Yup, that doesn't make any sense at all. At least not based on perception. A peripheral look at the situation doesn't sound that enticing if you're a Cal fan.
But that quarterback from Bothell, Ross Bowers, is actually a pretty good prospect. Good enough to earn an invite to the Elite 11 while competing against, and beating out for MVP honors, a much higher rated prospect in Town at the Elite 11 regional camp in Eugene. Also good enough to prove he belonged with all of the higher rated quarterbacks at the Elite 11 and The Opening.
I got a chance to watch Bowers in person there and I was very impressed with what I saw. He showed above average arm strength and had good command in the pocket. There were other more physically impressive quarterbacks in attendance, but that only made it obvious that Bowers is in a pretty good spot right now when he still has so much room to physically mature.
The thing I loved about watching Bowers in person was that he confirmed to me what I saw on film. He has very good feet and his mechanics are consistently solid. Good feet and consistently solid mechanics tend to equal to a pretty accurate quarterback. And even though he doesn't have currently have the "wow" arm like some other top quarterbacks committed to other Pac-12 schools, he has plenty enough arm to make some difficult throws.
This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Bowers rolls to his left after a play action fake, gets his shoulders square, and delivers it on the money for six points.
That's a tough throw to make at any level and it's the kind of throw that makes you believe he can succeed in the Pac-12.
The biggest reason why Bowers will have a chance to be very good at Cal though is because he is going to have one huge factor to aid his development: time. Jared Goff will have at least two more seasons of eligibility by the time Bowers gets to campus and he should have the opportunity to redshirt. He weighs about 180 pounds right now and needs that time to add weight and get stronger. He'll also have a couple of years to learn Sonny Dykes' "Bear Raid" offense and get comfortable within the scheme.
Not that there were any rumors of him not ending up in Berkeley, but Bowers made it official yesterday when he signed his financial aid agreement for Cal.
Bowers went from a player with little interest from Pac-12 schools to working his butt off this summer and showing how much he wants to get better as a player. It's that kind of motivation and the talent that Bowers possesses that makes Bowers a top 20 quarterback in this recruiting class in my opinion.
Bowers already proved once he could turn some heads and outshine highly ranked players. Don't be surprised if he does it again in the Pac-12 in a few years for the Bears.