Cal quarterback commit Chase Garbers said he was “very shocked” when he learned Sunday that Bears coach Sonny Dykes was fired, but it won’t change his intention to go to Cal.
“I’m looking forward to who my next head coach will be,” Garbers told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m still a Bear and plan on signing with Cal.”
Garbers, from Corona Del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), is ranked as the No. 15 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2017. He is among 13 commits in the Class of 2017, with two junior college transfers already signed.
Like many, he was caught off-guard by when the decision was made. Dykes was 19-30 in four years at Cal, which joins Western Michigan as the only FBS schools without head coaches. P.J. left Western Michigan for Wisconsin last week.
A search for a new head coach will begin immediately with the idea that a new coach could be in place by the end of the week as recruiting heats up when the end of the dead period. College football signing day is Feb. 1.
“It’s very odd to happen this late,” Garbers said. “But it is part of the process and it happens. I talked with the rest of the staff and a bunch of current players so that is good.”
Garbers threw his support on Twitter and an in interview behind offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, who was named Cal’s interim coach. At 31, he would be the youngest head coach in a Power 5 conference, if hired. Despite Cal losing Jared Goff and several top receivers, the Bears ranked No. 10 in FBS in offense in 2016.
“We all really want Spavital to be the guy,” he said, “but they’re going through the interview process.”
Running back Biaggio Ali-Walsh also told USA TODAY Sports that he intended to stick with his commitment. Ali-Walsh starred for three-time Super 25 champion Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and was named the Gatorade Nevada Player of the Year as a junior.
“I’m still committed and I am excited to see who the new coach is. Regardless, Go Bears!!,” he wrote in a Twitter direct message.
On Twitter, Jordan Genmark-Heath, a safety prospect from Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), also affirmed his intention to stick with Cal. He committed in late October.