Freshman Jared Goff to start at quarterback for California

True freshman Jared Goff has won the quarterback competition at California, the school announced Friday, meaning the Golden Bears' new head coach and signal-caller have been on campus together for less than nine months.

"It's important to name a starter and give them the reps they need to be prepared to play. We feel that right now Jared Goff gives us the best chance to be successful as a team," said Cal head coach Sonny Dykes, who was hired in December.

Goff, a four-star recruit from Novato, Calif. who enrolled in classes in January and participated in spring practice, edged out strong-armed redshirt freshman Zach Kline. Goff never seemed overwhelmed, adapting quickly to the new level of competition and showcasing his accuracy and ability to move in the pocket.

But immediate success is not guaranteed by any means, as Goff faces an incredibly difficult start to his college career. Cal opens the season against a sneaky good Northwestern team before facing BCS championship contenders Ohio State in Week Three and Oregon in Week Five.

And based on his track record, Dykes will not hesitate to make a switch if Goff struggles. At Louisiana Tech in 2011, Dykes started true freshman Nick Isham, only to pull him after seven games. Isham attempted only one more pass with the Bulldogs after losing his job and transferred to Arizona.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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