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2016 Pac-12 spring quarterback competition preview

More than half of the Pac-12 is looking to find a new starter at QB.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It is going to be as interesting of a Spring around the conference as ever  as more than half of the Pac-12 tries to find a new starter at quarterback. Almost all of these competitions will assuredly go into the Fall, but we should come out of Spring with at least a good idea of who might be the frontrunners.

Here is how I think the competitions look going in...

Arizona State (replacing Mike Bercovici)

The Sun Devils will be replacing the rare one-year starter so it's not a massive rebuilding project. Their next starter looks to be at least a three-year starter though as their entire quarterback stable is very young.

1. Manny Wilkins 6'3 190 So. - Wilkins was the back-up last year and that means he should come in as the favorite. He's a rangy athlete who fits the recent mold of ASU quarterbacks who have mobility but are still pass first QBs.

2. Brady White 6'2 200 rFr. - More of a drop back passer than Wilkins, the highly-touted recruit White redshirted in 2015 and looks to be Wilkins' biggest competitor. His accuracy is what could push him to the top of the race.

3. Bryce Perkins 6'3 215 rFr. - The physical specimen of the group, Perkins might be the complete package of size, mobility and accuracy Todd Graham is looking for. Bonus points, the local product (Chandler, AZ) is now former-UCLA star Paul Perkins' younger brother.

4. Dillon Sterling-Cole 6'3 200 Fr. - The highly-rated true freshman has an outside at being the next Pac-12 true freshman starter at QB.

Cal (replacing Jared Goff)

The Jared Goff era came and went in a flash and now Sonny Dykes has to find a new man to command the Bear Raid and fill some might big shoes. There isn't a ton of excitement about the bullpen stepping up in Berkeley, but Dykes' quarterback-friendly system could make a star out of Goff's successor.

1. Chase Forrest 6'2 205 So. - Goff's backup from 2015 saw little action as a freshman but is still the favorite by earning the job in practice. His smooth, steady style from high school could make him a nice fit in the Bear Raid  which excels with an accurate and patient quarterback.

2. Ross Bowers 6'2 190 rFr.- Not much is known about Bowers yet as he redshirted in 2015, but he has mobility that could set him apart and he was an accurate passer coming out of high school.

* Luke Rubenzer 6'0 190 Jr. - I put a star next to Rubenzer because he saw time as a change-of-pace, dual-threat back-up for Goff in 2014 but moved to safety in 2015 and I don't know if  he is coming back. He is one to definitely keep an eye on though if Forrest and Bowers don't impress.

3. Zach Kline 6'2 215 Sr. - Kline was actually supposed to be the next great Cal quarterback before Goff beat him out and he transferred. He's back for one more year though and will be an interesting wild card in the race as a former blue chip recruit with a big arm.

4. Max Gilliam 6'2 195 Fr. - A longshot as a true freshman, but hey, Dykes' last starter kicked it off as a true freshman and none of the other quarterbacks in the race are unbeatable.

Oregon (replacing Vernon Adams Jr.)

The Ducks are right back to searching for a new starter and it's a similar situation as last year as a grad transfer is the favorite over a large field of other prospects who have yet to set themselves apart from each other.

1. Dakota Prukop 6'2 200 Sr. - The Montana State grad transfer looks like the favorite, but doesn't look like the next Vernon Adams, who came in as a star who had already torn it up against Pac-12 teams. Still, Prukop has the mobility and improvisation skills to put him ahead of an unproven field and he will be available in the Spring unlike Adams who didn't show up till mid-August.

2. Jeff Lockie 6'2 205 Sr. - Lockie had a rough 2015, there is no other way to say it. He is the only Oregon QB returning with any extensive experience though, so he is the frontrunner of the internal group.

3. Taylor Alie 6'0 185 Jr. - The walk-on actually looked like the best quarterback on the roster at times in 2015, but I feel like the Ducks hope Travis Jonsen can step up and keep him off the field.

4. Travis Jonsen 6'3 195 rFr. - Jonsen has been pegged as some as the Duck QB of the future and if that is true, he should at least seriously challenge  Prukop for the starting job in spring. He is an athletic, playmaker who probably has the highest ceiling of anyone in this group.

5. Justin Herbert 6'6 215 Fr. - Herbert is likely a redshirt, but keep an eye on the huge prospect with nice mobility who may have been a much bigger recruit had he not been injured as a junior.

6. Terry Wilson 6'3 195 Fr. - Another true freshman likely headed for a redshirt but who you should still keep an eye on, especially given this unproven field.

Oregon State (replacing Seth Collins)

Weird situation as true freshman starter Seth Collins who had some impressive flashes in 2015 transferred out in January leaving the Beavers high and dry at quarterback.

1. Marcus McMaryion 6'1 200 So. - McMaryion challenged Collins in 2015 and saw some time, but didn't  do much. He is still likely the frontrunner going in though and has athleticism similar to Collins which could set him apart.

2. Darrell Garretson 6'0 195 Jr. - The Utah State transfer sat out 2015 but is ready to go and has a good shot at being the next starter. He played fairly well as an Aggie before getting injured and transferring out.

3. Mason Moran 6'3 180 Fr. -The true freshman probably shouldn't be a candidate to start but with this field, he will have a solid shot.

Stanford (replacing Kevin Hogan)

The Cardinal are amazingly looking to replace a quarterback for just the second time since Andrew Luck left. There aren't many options this spring, but two signal callers will start battling it out.

1. Ryan Burns 6'5 235 Sr. - Kevin Hogan's back-up from 2015 didn't see much action but is in a good spot going into Spring. He's a big player with a big arm who has all the tools to replace Hogan.

2. Keller Chryst 6'5 240 Jr. - Chryst might actually be the frontrunner as a massive, polished prospect whose dad used to be offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the 49ers.

USC (replacing Cody Kessler)

1. Max Browne 6'5 220 Jr. - Browne was arguably the top-rated quarterback in his high school class but has yet to play a meaningful minute. He will start to get his chance this Spring though with Kessler graduated.

2. Sam Darnold 6'4 215 rFr. - Browne may have been the official back-up in 2015, but murmurs of Darnold being the next guy at QB are out there.

Utah (replacing Travis Wilson)

1. Troy Williams 6'2 195 Jr. - The JC transfer started a game for Washington in 2014 as looks to be the favorite going into Spring. He has a live arm and major mobility.

2. Brandon Cox 6'2 200 Jr. - The experienced player in the game, he might be the boring pick to win the job, but the safe one.

3. Tyler Huntley 6'1 180 Fr. - Watch out for the freshman from Florida to compete for the job against an unproven field.