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May 19, 2012

Goff earns Golden Gun accuracy title at E11 Regional



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Stay tuned for PREMIUM video of Goff's day at the Elite 11 Oakland Regional!

SAN PABLO, Calif. -- As the quarterbacks assembled on the east sideline of the Contra Costa College football field at the Elite 11 Oakland Regional, the two most accurate signal-callers sidled up next to one another.

Three-star California commit Jared Goff sidled up next to five-star USC commit Max Browne and smiled.

"We're going to be doing this for the next four years," Goff said. "We might as well start now."

Camp coach and former Jeff Tedford pupil Trent Dilfer introduced the contest as one where -- just like in games -- the quarterback will be exposed, out there alone, with the game on the line.

Goff and Browne were two of the finalists chosen to compete in a pressure-packed sprint down the field, where they had to drive 65 yards in a two-minute drill. Fittingly enough, the pair were among the final competitors, with Goff going ahead of Browne. Goff stepped up and effectively set the bar for Browne, and by the time all was said and done, the two drives were too close to call.

"I had a lot of adrenaline going," Goff said. "I was hoping I would get picked for that, and I performed well enough to get picked for it. I thought I did really well in it, but Max did just a little bit better."

Though Goff came away with the Golden Gun accuracy crown, Browne was awarded the regional MVP award. The Bears and the Trojans have brought in the first- and second-most Elite 11 quarterbacks in the Pac-12, respectively, since 2002. While the jury is still out on early-enrollee freshman Zach Kline, none of the rest - save for Nate Longshore -- have experienced prolonged success. After taking home the accuracy award, Goff is in prime position to advance to the event's finals, later in the summer.

"I think it's my ability in the games," Goff said, when asked what he thinks will help him buck the trend of Elite 11 struggles in Berkeley. "I feel like I'm better in a game than I am in camps. I feel like, during the games, when the game is on the line, I tend to perform better, and that's when I feel like I do the best."

Goff showed a quick release and smooth footwork, adeptly responding to various defensive challenges posed by the coaches, including throwing quick touch balls over the middle with enough loft to avoid a phantom linebacker. It was the wind, though, that proved to be the most persistent burr in the saddles of all the gunslingers in attendance, and Goff was no exception.

"The one we had to throw - the deep ball - it was tough getting it up there with the wind," Goff said. "Then, the one that I thought was the hardest was the one down the sideline. You had to drop it in between the safety and the corner, and I thought that one was tough."

Goff and Browne will go at it again on Sunday morning at Contra Costa College as they participate in the NIKE Football Training camp, and Goff has his golden gun set on earning an invite to the Elite 11 finals.

"I'm going to come back out on Sunday and make the finals," Goff smiled.


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