"What does BWF think of Rivals #40 recruit Zach Kline?
I need breaks from wedding planning, and its hard to find new and interesting material about our Cal Bears now during the offseason, so I'm left to reading up on recruiting."
First off, congrats on getting engaged, Ryan. It’s a good thing you asked about Zach Kline, because I've been meaning to do a writeup on Kline for a while. The timing is even better with Zach Kline having nearly dominated every west coast recruiting headline last weekend.
Zach Kline is the first commitment of the 2012 Bears’ class, and you can’t ask for a better face to headline the incoming group of recruits. If the most recruiting ratings stick, Zach Kline will arguably be the highest rated QB of the Tedford era which is saying quite a bit given the number of Elite 11 and All-American QBs he’s pulled in over the past decade.
According to Rivals, Kline is a the 40th top recruit and the #2 pro-style QB in the nation. He’s seen by many as the top QB on the west coast, and has garnered a four-star rating with Rivals, and may even bump up to an elite five-star rating when the recruiting game is all said and done.
Kline plays for San Ramon Valley High, and this is actually what might be limiting him from a five-star rating. He doesn’t have the strongest supporting cast, and the team probably won’t make it too deep into the playoffs if they even make it this year. He’s the brightest spot on an average team, and he is again unlikely to put up the type of gaudy numbers you’d like to see from five-star prospect.
Kline had previously accepted an invitation to play at the US Army All-American game (the more prestigious of the All-American games, in my opinion), but just recently switched his commitment to the Under-Armor All-American game because of a personal commitment.
Overall, I’ve been really high on Kline for quite some time now. Early on, there were a number of scouts who wondered whether Tedford had pulled the trigger a bit early on Kline, as there were a number of strong QB prospects on the west coast this year. But thus far, Kline has done everything to prove those doubters wrong, and prove Tedford right.
The first thing that sticks out to me about Zach Kline is the cannon he calls his arm. From the very first throw in his highlights, you see the ball absolutely fly off his hand. He also has the ability to squeeze the ball in some very tight pockets, and can make all the throws on the field. He shows great accuracy on deep balls, and shows impressive zip and accuracy on deep outs and comeback routes. He also throws a decent ball on the run, and is all in all, about as fundamentally sound as you’ll find in a QB prospect his age (just a junior in high school).
He also seemingly has all the intangibles and character traits you want in a quarterback. In most QB camp reports, observers have noted his energy on the practice field, urging and challenging other participants, and racing to be one of the first up in drills. He’s made great connections with some of the top WR prospects in the state including Cal recruiting targets in Bryce Treggs and Jordan Payton.
What’s even more encouraging is that the kid seems to be saying and doing all the right things in his preparation to one day quarterback for the Bears. He’s worked hard in the weight room in the offseason, putting on a solid 20 pounds of muscle, measuring at a solid 6’2 and 210 pounds now. You don’t typically see that type of dedication from a high school quarterback.
Kline has also been on a tear in the camp circuits, winning multiple MVP honors at Nike camps, and standing out as the top QB during the Elite 11 regional camp last weekend. He’ll be participating at the Elite 11 camp in Los Angeles this summer as well.
Kline has also recently stated that he will be enrolling at Cal next spring so that he can get a heads start with his academics, strength and conditioning, as well as participate with the Bears spring practice.
It’s almost as if he’s doing everything he possibly can to put himself in a position to compete on Day 1 for the starting QB spot, which is practically unheard of for a Tedford quarterback, especially considering the depth of quarterbacks in front of him.
I like Zach Kline a whole lot, and it’s the most excited I’ve been about a high school quarterback recruit in some time. Granted, it’s just May, and the guy still has his entire senior season to play. However, I’m continually encouraged by his skills, and all the work he appears to be putting in to continually get better. The future looks very bright for Kline.
Sunday, May 22, 2011