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Previewing the 2017 spring Pac-12 quarterback battles: Arizona State, Cal, Oregon State and Stanford open up battles this year

Let’s take a look at the quarterback battles about to heat up around the Pac-12.

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State

Manny Wilkins got the majority of starts for the Sun Devils in 2016, but he didn’t seal the job up and it should be wide open in the spring. I’m sure the Sun Devils won’t be able to lock in a starter by the end of spring, but I’m sure they would love to have someone break out of the pack.


  1. Blake Barnett 6’5 200 So.

Barnett didn’t blow anyone away at Alabama, but the fact that he was able to win the starting job there tells me that he has what it takes to move ahead of a pack that didn’t do much last year and shows that he is at least a good practice player.

  1. Manny Wilkins 6’3 200 Jr.

I don’t want to write off Wilkins yet because I think he has the most potential of any Sun Devil QB, but I think he might slip behind Barnett in the spring after failing to grab the job when he had the chance in 2016.

  1. Dillon Sterling-Cole 6’3 190 So.

DS-C is right there with Wilkins as a rangy athlete who flashed his potential in 2016 when given the chance. Based on what we saw in 2016, I think he is still too raw to beat out Barnett and may benefit from a redshirt year.


The Bears had Davis Webb handle every single pass in 2016 so they are starting completely from scratch again in 2016. Unfortunately their pack is made up of quarterbacks who provided Webb no challenge for the starting job last year.


  1. Max Gilliam 6’2 205 rFr.

It looked like Gilliam might win the job as a true freshman before Webb showed up and then Cal decided to stash him with a redshirt year. Given that, I feel like he has a great shot at jumping out ahead in the race.

  1. Ross Bowers 6’2 190 So.

Bowers technically was the back up to Webb, but didn’t even throw a pass, so not sure how much it means. Well, I think it means I think he will stick at back up in 2017 coming out of spring.

  1. Chase Forrest 6’2 205 Jr.

Forrest backed up Jared Goff, but seems to be slipping in the race to be the next Cal starter.

  1. Chase Garbers 6’2 210 Fr.

Garbers has a great chance to take the lead as a true freshman since he is the only QB recruited by new head coach Justin Wilcox and because the rest of the crew failed to take hold of the job last year. Still, he isn’t a highly-rated prospect, so I am holding off on predicting him grabbing the job just yet.

Oregon State

Darell Garretson looked to be Gary Andersen’s starter before he went down with an injury in the middle of the season and now things are open again. Garretson will have to compete to get his job back this spring.

  1. Darrell Garretson 6’0 210 Sr.

I think Garretson is able to win his job back. He already beat this pack out last year and I think offers the most-complete back of tools for Andersen along with the most experience.

  1. Conor Blount 6’1 190 So.

The walk-on freshman quietly became Oregon State’s back-up last year and I expect him to do more of the same in the spring.

  1. Marcus McMaryion 6’1 205 Jr.

McMaryion saw some starts in 2016, but didn’t do much. I think he can test Garretson because of his mobility, but won’t win the starting job.

  1. Mason Moran 6’3 185 rFr.

Andersen’s first signed quarterback who is still around will get his first shot at action after redshirting, but I don’t think he is ready to challenge for the starting job.

5. Jake Luton 6’7 230 Jr.

The junior college transfer has intriguing size, but I don’t think will be ready to compete for the starting job right out of the gate.


Quarterback was a major struggle for Stanford in 2016. Keller Chryst eventually beat out Ryan Burns, but then went down with a torn ACL in the Sun Bowl so things are wide open again.

  1. Keller Chryst 6’5 235 Sr.

Chryst won’t play in the spring, but I bet he still technically hangs onto the starting spot in theory.

  1. K.J. Costello 6’5 220 So.

Costello redshirted after coming in as a blue chip recruit. I think there is a good chance he ends up being the biggest challenge to Chryst’s startings spot as Burns didn’t do much in 2016.

  1. Ryan Burns 6’5 235 Sr.

Many thought Burns would transfer, but he is back for his fifth year and will likely be a nice depth quarterback.