Cal transfer QB portal targets: Adrian Martinez of Nebraska, Taisun Phommachanh of Clemson
And what a commitment looks like for the future of Chase Garbers.
With Cal losing their quarterback commit Justyn Martin late in the cycle, the Golden Bears have marched toward the transfer portal. There are luckily a host of candidates currently available to shore up depth, particularly with Chase Garbers’s future uncertain with the Bears and still a lot of question marks around whether Kai Milner or Zach Johnson are ready to hold the starting mantle next season.
Former Cal commit Adrian Martinez is one such target. Martinez took a visit to Berkeley last week.
Martinez committed to Cal in 2016, but reopened his recruitment soon after Sonny Dykes was fired and Justin Wilcox became the new head coach. At Nebraska, Martinez has had quite the career, starting all four seasons, passing for nearly 8500 yards and throwing 45 touchdowns, while also rushing for 2300+ yards and 35 touchdowns. Cal would not hurt to have his dual-threat ability.
However, I think Cal might be an underdog in this one to Kansas State. Martinez’s current girlfriend plays soccer for the Wildcats, and the entire family came out this weekend for an official trip to Manhattan.
In addition, former Clemson quarterback Taisun Phommachanh is reportedly in the mix.
Cal could be a serious destination because of Phommachanh’s familiarity with the coaching staff. Justin Wilcox recruited him coming out of Avon Old Farms, where he was a four-star recruit and the top-ranked prospect in Connecticut.
Phommachanh was Clemson’s quarterback from the class of 2019, and was ranked as one of the five best dual-threat quarterbacks in college football. But he’s only seen the field occasionally in his three years with the Tigers and did suffer a torn Achilles in 2020. With DJ Uiagalelei firmly the starter, it made sense for Phommachanh too find a new home.
It sounds as if Cal has other quarterback targets in the portal, some of whom might be in Berkeley this week or next on official visits with the rest of our recruiting class and remaining targets. Here’s a list of quarterbacks who Cal could potentially be pursuing:
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler. An Arizona native and probably the top name on the board. UCLA has already emerged as one of the favorites along with Arizona State, but Ole Miss is also sneaking into the picture. I doubt Cal will enter the fray, but Rattler would be an immediate impact player for whoever lands him.
UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel: Oddly, another Ole Miss and UCLA battle could be brewing for the former Golden Knights transfer. Gabriel was spotted at UCLA practice after original buzz had him ending up in Oxford. Gabriel originates from Hawaii. You have to wonder if each program ends up with one of Rattler and Gabriel.
Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer: Plummer has been on-and-off the starter with the Boilermakers, but eventually got passed up for Aidan O’Connell. Plummer is originally from Gilbert, Arizona, so a West coast move might make sense.
Boise State quarterback Jack Sears: Sears might be an interesting candidate—the former USC Trojan had a nice performance in a win over Air Force last year, but has otherwise struggled with injury and spent the last two years backing up Hank Bachmeier. The San Clemente transfer could potentially provide depth.
Utah quarterback Peter Costelli: With Cameron Rising locking up the position for the foreseeable future, the 2021 prized Utes quarterback is now open and available. This would be more of a long-term commitment though.
Central Michigan quarterback Jacob Sirmon: Cal defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon is his uncle, and Jacob Sirmon was at Washington previously. However, Sirmon lost his starting job at Central Michigan, so it’d be unclear if he’d be an impact transfer.
If Cal were to land a transfer quarterback, you’d have to imagine Chase Garbers has played his final snaps in Berkeley. Most of these transfers have limited eligibility left—it would not make much sense for them to come to sit behind Garbers for another season.