There’s currently a serious battle for the starting quarterback job in Berkeley. Jack Plummer, Kai Millner and Zach Johnson are all going back and forth, with Plummer looking like he has a slight edge on the competition if media reports are to be believed.
What is certain is that whoever comes out as a the Cal Bears starter will immediately be looking to establish a good rapport with an overhauled supporting case. Bill Musgrove’s wide receiver room will be key to the development of the man under center, but they’ll also be learning a hell of a lot themselves.
Three quarters of Cal’s 2021 receiving yards departed in the offseason, with only Jeremiah Hunter the only player remaining on the roster who has previously contributed in a meaningful fashion. However, they have got a player who could follow in the footsteps of previous West Coast greats, Sean Dawkins, DeSean Jackson and Keenan Allen.
Mavin Anderson was recruited by the majority of PAC-12 programs coming out of Mission Viejo High School, including Oregon and Arizona State. He eventually decided on the Golden Bears and Bill Musgrove’s offense, making him the third ranked recruit in Cal’s top 20 rated 2021 class.
The former four star already has a good size and build for the modern receiver, at 6’0” and 200lb he’s capable of both stretching the field and lowering the shoulder to take on opposing linebackers. The scouting notes on his recruiting profiles wax lyrical about after the catch explosiveness, long speed and short yardage quickness. But turn on the tape and you see a player that is so much more than his speed.
Anderson’s hands are very sure for such a young player and he tracks the ball down field incredibly well, but it’s when the ball is in his hands that the damage is really done. With a frame like a running back, the California native invites contact and his High School tape shows off a lot of lowered shoulders and stiff arms.
These attributes point towards Anderson playing a key part in Cal’s new-look offense this season. It’s highly likely he’ll be used in jet sweep and reverse packages, and indeed he took a reverse play for a 65 yard TD in Spring scrimmages. However, don’t be surprised to see him deployed as the Bears’ predominant threat on the outside as well, as his speed gives PAC-12 DBs nightmares.
By Andy Moore – @ajmoore21