Four Pac-12 players were among the 30 quarterbacks named to 2021 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list on Tuesday, and Cal will face four of the quarterbacks on that watch list. The O’Brien Award goes to the nation’s top college quarterback.
Absent from that O’Brien watch list, however, is Cal’s Chase Garbers, who is entering his fourth season as the Golden Bears starting quarterback.
The four Pac-12 quarterbacks on the watch list are USC’s Kedon Slovis, Utah’s Charlie Brewer (who transferred from Baylor), Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels and UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
The Bears will face Slovis and the Trojans on November 13 in Berkeley and will play Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins in their final regular-season game on Nov. 27 in Pasadena.
Cal will also go up against two of the O’Brien watch list members in their first two nonconference games. Nevada’s Carson Strong is on the watch list, and the Golden Bears host Nevada in their season opener on Sept. 4, and TCU’s Max Duggan is also on the watch list, and the Bears will play the Horned Frogs in their second game, on Sept. 11, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Garbers received quite a bit of preseason hype prior to the 2020 season, but the Bears went just 1-3 in their pandemic-shortened season, and Garbers ranked ninth in the conference in passer rating.
This season should be a better indicator of the progress Garbers has made in offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s offense.
Here are the 30 quarterbacks named to the O’Brien watch list
Connor Bazelak, Missouri, So., 6-3, 212, Dayton, Ohio
Charlie Brewer, Utah, Sr., 6-1, 210, Austin, Texas
Matt Corral, Ole Miss, Jr., 6-1, 205, Ventura, Calif.
Malik Cunningham, Louisville, Jr., 6-1, 200, Montgomery, Ala.
Dustin Crum, Kent State, Sr., 6-3, 207, Grafton, Ohio
Jayden Daniels, Arizona State, So., 6-3, 185, San Bernardino, Calif.
JT Daniels, Georgia, Jr., 6-3, 210, Irvine, Calif.
Max Duggan, TCU, Jr., 6-2, 201, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Dillon Gabriel, UCF, Jr., 6-0, 200, Mililani, Hawaii
Frank Harris, UTSA, Sr., 6-0, 200, Schertz, Texas
Sam Howell, North Carolina, Jr., 6-1, 220, Indian Trail, N.C.
Phil Jurkovec, Boston College, Jr., 6-5, 226, Pittsburgh, Penn.
D’Eriq King, Miami, Sr., 5-11, 195, Manvel, Texas
Levi Lewis, Louisiana, Sr., 5-10, 184, Baton Rouge, La.
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina, So., 6-3, 210, Indian Trail, N.C.
Graham Mertz, Wisconsin, So., 6-3, 225, Overland Park, Kan.
McKenzie Milton, Florida State, Sr., 5-11, 192, Kapolei, Hawaii
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota, Sr., 6-2, 215, Union, Ky.
Michael Penix Jr., Indiana, Jr., 6-3, 218, Tampa, Fla.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State, Sr., 6-1, 220, Gilbert, Ariz.
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma, So., 6-1, 200, Phoenix, Ariz.
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati, Sr., 6-4, 215, Louisville, Ky.
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State, Jr., 6-1, 205, Denton, Texas
Kedon Slovis, USC, Jr., 6-3, 215, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Nick Starkel, San Jose State, Sr., 6-3, 214, Argyle, Texas
Carson Strong, Nevada, Jr., 6-4, 215, Vacaville, Calif.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA, Sr., 6-1, 200, Las Vegas, Nev.
D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson, So, 6-4, 250, Inland Empire, Calif.
Grant Wells, Marshall, R-Fr., 6-2, 210, Charleston, W.Va.
Malik Willis, Liberty, Jr., 6-1, 215, Atlanta, Ga.
Cover photo of Dorian Thompson-Robinson by Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
Find Cal Sports Report on Facebook by searching: @si.calsportsreport or going to https://www.facebook.com/si.calsportsreport