After being told last week that he would not be among the top three quarterbacks headed into the middle of spring practice, fifth-year California senior Allan Bridgford announced on Monday via twitter that he had requested his release from Cal.
“Today I asked for my release from the CAL football team. I plan on graduating this summer and transferring 2 another school 2 play football,” Bridgford tweeted shortly after 3 p.m. “I want to thank everyone who has ever supported me in any way. I love CAL and always will. It is time for me to move on and God has a plan for me. Go bears, always.”
As a fifth-year senior, the fact that Bridgford said he intends to graduate from Cal this summer widens the list of programs he could transfer to, under the NCAA's rule that allows players who have earned their undergraduate degree to become immediately eligible at an institution that offers a postgraduate program not offered at the school they are leaving.
The more likely option -- according to sources -- is that Bridgford transfers to a Division I FCS program, which would include nearby UC Davis. The Aggies' head coach is Ron Gould, the former running backs coach under the previous two regimes in Berkeley.
PREMIUM: Where Will Bridgford Transfer?
On March 6, head coach Sonny Dykes said that he delivered the news to Bridgford that the three younger quarterbacks on the roster would be receiving the bulk of the reps.
“Basically, he kind of got some news from us that he was going to get some reduced reps, and then decided that he wanted to take a day or two to kind of assess some things,” Dykes said at the time. “We told him that we’d love for him to do that, so he’s probably going to think some things over with his family and talk about some things, and I would expect to have a conversation with him again at the end of the week, over the weekend, probably.”
Bridgford -- heading into his fifth season at Cal -- had the most game experience of the quarterbacks on the roster, starting last season’s opener against Nevada in place of Zach Maynard, who was said by then-head coach Jeff Tedford to have missed a tutoring session, but who was also reportedly in academic peril following a poor junior year in the classroom.
Bridgford played in 10 games over his career, mostly in mop-up duty, completing 44 of 100 passes for 461 yards and one touchdown, with three interceptions.
As a strictly pro-style signal-caller, Bridgford had not taken to the new spread attack quite as well as his younger counterparts Austin Hinder, Zach Kline and Jared Goff. Those three got the lion’s share of first-team reps on Wednesday as the Bears embarked on their fifth practice of the spring. All three have shown flashes thus far, with Kline possessing the strongest arm, Hinder perhaps the best touch, and Goff showing advanced touch and maturity despite being an early-enrollee. Earlier in spring, Dykes said of Goff that, “Sometimes, he looks like a kid who should be going to Prom, but others he looks like a Division I quarterback.”
UPDATE: In a statement released by the Cal athletic department, Bridgford added, “I was recruited by former coach Jeff Tedford to play quarterback in a pro-style offense that was tailored to my strengths, which are my abilities to make all the throws, my decision making and my leadership.”
Bridgford continued, saying that “As the team’s most experienced quarterback, I expected to take the majority of reps this spring. But after having limited reps in the first four spring practices, I met with both offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and head coach Sonny Dykes. It was made clear to me that they had decided to go in a different direction. Therefore, it is time to move on and find a school where I can play right away and hopefully for two seasons if I’m granted a sixth year of eligibility. I love Cal, my teammates and brothers, our fans and the program. I made many of my best friends for life here. Without a doubt I plan to graduate from Cal this summer. Go Bears!”