BERKELEY -- Cal signee Luke Rubenzer has a new, two-word response whenever someone suggests he's too short to play quarterback: Russell Wilson.

Rubenzer, listed at 6 feet, was out and about in his hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this week when someone questioned his physical qualifications to play the position.

"I almost said, 'Did you watch the Super Bowl?'" he said. "I'll probably use that next time."

Rubenzer, who made his commitment to Cal official on Wednesday, is modestly rated as a three-star prospect by most recruiting services. He knows the scouts graded him down because he's not the prototype quarterback at 6-4.

Wilson, the former Wisconsin star who led the Seattle Seahawks to victory Sunday in the Super Bowl, is Rubenzer's response to the stereotype.

"It's really cool a guy like that, who is actually shorter than I am, having a big game in the Super Bowl," Rubenzer said.

Rubenzer didn't allow his stature to slow him at Saguaro High, where he passed for 4,201 yards and 61 touchdowns with just three interceptions last fall. He also rushed for 1,221 yards and 10 more TDs on a 13-1 team.

That was high school, but Rubenzer is inspired by Wilson and has followed him since his college days.

"My dad is from Wisconsin, and I've been a fan of (Wilson) since he transferred to Wisconsin," Rubenzer said. "I love him.


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"It's really cool that a guy who was kind of in my shoes at one point is making a big name for himself on the world-wide stage. It keeps that motor in my head saying it doesn't matter the height, just about being a football player."

Cal coach Sonny Dykes said Rubenzer is the total package. He just comes in a smaller package.

"When you're going to put the ball in somebody's hand every single play and your offense goes through him, you want somebody who's competitive and confident," Dykes said. "His personality is magnetic. He did a great job of holding this class together. He's a natural leader. Those intangibles are his strength."

Jared Goff returns next season as the Bears start on the heels of a freshman season in which he passed for 3,508 yards and 18 touchdowns but suffered a shoulder separation in the Big Game and needed surgery.

Dykes said Goff is ahead of schedule in his rehab and doesn't anticipate any lingering effects from the injury.

Goff served as Rubenzer's host on his recent campus visit, and the two hit it off.

"I loved hanging out with him, talking ball with him," Rubenzer said. "I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to work with him, compete with him and making each other better every day."

  • Dykes said the hiring of Art Kaufman as defensive coordinator on Jan. 22 allowed the Bears to finish recruiting strong, especially on defense.

    "What Art did at the end was solidify some guys. He was able to settle some guys down," Dykes said. "He did a good job coming in building a relationship with these kids in a short amount of time, giving us some direction, some certainty."

  • Asked how big a factor the Bears' 1-11 record was during recruiting, Dykes said, "A lot of times with recruits, we could have told them we were 11-1 and they wouldn't have known. Some were acutely aware, others didn't know. With some guys it was a big issue, other guys it wasn't an issue at all."

  • Dykes said the four defensive players who missed most of last season with injuries will have different levels of participation in spring workouts, beginning the last week of March.

    Defensive end Brennan Scarlett (hand) is fully cleared, Dykes said, and safety Avery Sebastian (Achilles) likely will be by then. Defensive tackle Mustafa Jalil (knee) and cornerback Stefan McClure (knee) will be limited.

  • Fourteen of the Bears' 21 signees are California native. Two are from Texas, two from Arizona, and one each from Washington, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. Dykes said the Bears have one more available scholarship.