REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – When the Elite 11 schedule included an unusually large block of free time on Friday, Jared Goff knew it was too good to be true. The Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic quarterback prepared himself for a variety of possibilities of what might be coming.
Nothing could prepare the California commit for a 4:45 AM wakeup call and two hours of Navy Seal training, including being doused in freezing cold water and buried in sand.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Goff said. “You got to look at it that way. For the rest of my life I can say I did Navy Seal training with 24 other quarterbacks, and at the end of it, we all came out of it better people.”
Only a few hours later, Goff struggled through his worst performance of the week, attributed to the short recovery time and throwing into a strong wind. However, he bounced back with a strong effort Saturday, hitting every pass in 7-on-7.
“You just got to come back everyday,” he said. “This is an exhausting process, this whole Elite 11 stuff. Yesterday was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. You just got to get your mind right and focus. That’s all I had to do today.”
That attitude and good preparation in the build up to the camp have made Goff a reliable presence in the list of top performers prepared everyday by instructors. The four-star prospect believes he is in strong position to make the final Elite 11, which will be announced Sunday afternoon.
“I feel good about it,” Goff said. “I came out in the first ranking at four, then I had a little bit of an off day yesterday. I had a couple throws I wish I could get back, went down to seven. Then today I went eight-for-eight, think I hit every pass. I should be moving up far as I know.”
If Goff does finish in the top tier, it would put him in good company as Cal freshman Zach Kline did so last year. However, the sheer depth and quality of the 2012 group is so strong, it would be a more impressive feat.
“They’re saying eight of the guys that won’t make it would have made it last year, so that’s pretty impressive,” Goff said.
So what surprise is he expecting for the final session? He is thinking everyone will be forced to digest an entire new playbook for the two-minutes drills to come. Regardless, Goff will be ready for anything.
If he does makes the Elite 11, those instincts could be the main reason.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/Scout.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.