Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion doesn't sound like he is going anywhere next season, but the Beavers may have already identified his replacement for 2015.
California redshirt freshman Zach Kline is set to transfer to Oregon State, the Portland Tribune first reported.
Kline was beaten out for the starting position by true freshman Jared Goff, but threw for 443 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in six games as Goff's backup. However, even as Goff struggled through conference play, it became clear that Kline was not going to seize the job.
"I just think from what the coaches have told me, I have a better opportunity somewhere else," Kline told the Bay Area News Group. "They put it to me straight and in a professional way, which I appreciate."
Kline (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) was regarded as one the top five quarterback recruits in the Class of 2012, but is more of a strong-armed gunslinger than the timing-based passer required of the Air Raid offense the Golden Bears are now running. But that skill set should be a better fit for the Beavers' more vertically-oriented pro-style system.
And if Kline can be half as effective as another inter-conference transfer to Oregon State, one-time UCLA quarterback and seven-year NFL veteran Matt Moore, it should be a wildly successful arrangement for both parties.
Mannion is hoping to get back on the right track in the Hawaii Bowl against Bosie State on Dec. 24, having thrown 11 of his 14 interceptions this season during Oregon State's current five-game losing streak.
That downturn likely scuttled any notions of leaving early for the NFL, despite having thrown for 4,403 yards and 36 touchdowns this season, ranking second and third in the FBS respectively in those categories.
Instead, Mannion is more likely to be exhausting his efforts to try to get record-setting wide receiver Brandin Cooks to return for his senior season, a topic that has not yet been broached.
"We haven't talked about that," Mannion told the Oregonian. "For him and me, we're both going to have to make that decision at some point. I'll worry about all that stuff afterwards. I haven't even had a chance to think about it because I am so focused on Boise State."
It is an opportunity Oregon State did not believe it would have, as the Pac-12 had more bowl-eligible teams than contracted bowl tie-ins. Had Northern Illinois or Fresno State made a BCS bowl, Oregon State would have been squeezed out of the postseason.
Said Mannion: "I just really wanted another chance to play this season and to get another game to show what our team can do. The fact that we get to go to Hawaii is kind of a bonus."
As is the knowledge for head coach Mike Riley that a line of succession at quarterback might be coming into place.