Zach Kline

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Former Cal QB Zach Kline resurfaces at…. Cal

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As a personal rule, I never criticize college football players for transferring. These guys have one shot at a college career, and who can fault them for betting on themselves — especially when it’s a quarterback.

That said, Zach Kline‘s path through college football is…. odd.

A four-star prospect out of Danville, Calif., Kline was Rivals’ second-rated pocket passer when he originally committed to Cal way back on Sept. 12, 2010. He signed with the Bears in 2012, took a redshirt and then tossed 82 passes and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2013.

Passed over by true freshman Jared Goff, Kline announced a transfer to Oregon State in December of ’13, then changed his mind in April. He spent the 2014 season at Butte College in California, then the 2015 campaign at Indiana State. Three schools later, Kline’s experience in Terre Haute was similar to Berkeley — three games, 13 total passes.

So now, with one season left to play, Kline is back where he started.

“Zach’s a great kid, popular kid,” Bears head coach Sonny Dykes told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I said, ‘Yeah, we’d love to have you back.'”

Kline re-joined Cal’s roster as a walk-on and must graduate from Cal in May to remain on the roster this fall.

Nearly six years after he originally committed to the program, Kline’s college career may not have turned out the way he envisioned, but a Cal degree is a heck of a parting gift.