By Connor Buestad | Connor@Section925.com
In just three years behind center for the Golden Bears, CAL quarterback Jared Goff already owns 16 different passing records in the Berkeley history books. And by about midway through the fall of 2015, he figures to tack on a handful more as he continues to bolster his NFL résumé. Surely, much of this passing success can and should be attributed to the wide-open Bear Raid offense that Sonny Dykes brought over with him from Louisiana Tech. It is an offense in which seemingly everything is designed around the concept of allowing the quarterback to get off as many pass attempts as possible.
But, of course, there always needs to be a capable body at the other end of every fastball Goff pumps across the middle, or fade he lobs into the back corner of the end zone. For the last few years Kenny Lawler and Bryce Treggs have been tasked with the duty of making Goff look good, and they have responded by making him look spectacular.
Both Lawler (a junior) and Treggs (a senior) grew up in the football skill position hotbed that is southern California. Lawler prepped east of L.A. in Pomona, while Treggs learned his craft in the city of Inglewood. Lawler has plenty of height for a receiver and lines up far outside on the line of scrimmage. Treggs, meanwhile, is under six feet and lines up inside in the slot. But most importantly, both have breakaway speed and sticky hands. Two traits that Jared Goff can’t get enough of.
As much as Bear Backers would like to believe Jared Goff has a shot at the Heisman, perhaps a more realistic goal would to simply be crowned the best quarterback of the PAC-12. But even with Marcus Mariota gone to the Tennessee Titans and NFL scouts singing his praises, Goff is still pitted behind USC’s Cody Kessler for conference QB supremacy. The duo of Lawler and Treggs know the feeling all too well.
Despite combining for 15 touchdowns, over 1,200 yards, and over 100 catches last season, Lawler and Treggs still have a lot to prove before they can bypass their PAC-12 peers. The three schools in the conference who are getting the most wide out hype are as follows: JuJu Smith & Adoree’ Jackson of USC, Jordan Payton & Thomas Duarte of UCLA, and Cayleb Jones & Thomas Duarte of Arizona.
But based on last year’s performance, CAL’s yin and yang duo of Lawler and Treggs certainly deserves to be in the conversation of the conference’s best heading into 2015. One handed catches in the corner of the end zone have become the norm for Lawler, who has steadily gotten bigger and stronger over the course of his career in Berkeley and has learned to overpower smaller defenders. His nine touchdowns last year led all CAL receivers and he is already 9th on CAL’s all-time touchdown list after just two seasons.
Treggs figures to be CAL’s emotional leader this year, when you combine his noticeable charisma and three full years of playing experience under his belt. Add on the fact that Bryce’s dad Brian was CAL’s leading receiver for three seasons from 1989-91 and is now enshrined in the Bear’s Hall of Fame. Pretty soon you begin to realize #1 has all the makings of yet another break out season in his last year in a Bears uniform.
CAL’s dynamic duo will have more than enough support around them, so if their stats somehow slip, it could be that Goff is just spreading the wealth. Stephen Anderson is another tall wide out that is a popular target for Goff, and this year he will be playing more tight end. Even after missing the first two games due to injury, Anderson tallied five touchdown catches despite not being the featured receiver.
Another talented receiver that will provide support is herald freshman Carlos Strickland out of Texas. Perhaps CAL’s most prized recruit of the incoming freshman, Strickland’s highlight tape speaks for itself, as he is one of the most electrifying playmakers in the nation. It wouldn’t be out of the question to see an immediate impact made by Strickland vs. Grambling on September 5th.
With only one ball to go around and so many weapons to choose from, some might begin to worry that Lawler and Treggs might not get all the touches they need. But if anyone should be worried it should be radio play-by-play legend Joe Starkey. “TOUCHDOWN BEARS” might begin to sound like a broken record if he isn’t careful.