Land of 10 has embarked on a series of Next Generation articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the Class of 2018 signees. Land of 10 Iowa writers Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse are visiting the Iowa incoming freshman class to show you more than its 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. We talked with 3-star quarterback Spencer Petras, but before we bring you the full profile on the Marin Catholic (Calif.) star, here is a sneak peek at what you can expect.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Spencer Petras checks the score of the football games. He notices his buddy, a fellow quarterback, just led his team to a big victory.
He shoots off a quick text.
Petras doesn’t think much of it. Why would he? After all, he texts with NFL starting quarterback Jared Goff every once in a while.
“It doesn’t strike me as insane because everyone kind of watched him impress [in high school and college],” Petras said, “but when I step back and think about it, it’s pretty cool.”
When Petras arrives on Iowa’s campus next week, he’ll come equipped with a resource few other Division I quarterback hold.
An established relationship with a former No. 1 NFL draft pick he can turn to for advice if he ever needs it.
“It’s pretty special that that has even evolved,” said Petras’ mom, Sarah. “Jared is a very, very lovely person and a nice guy. Of course, [Marin Catholic football coach] Mazi [Moayed] is an intermediary and they are all a family and they are all very devoted to each other and want to help each other.”
The Marin connection
Both were signal callers at the quarterback factory that is Marin Catholic. There is a bond there. Moayed coached each one and introduced the two.
Their bond built slowly over time. Goff came back to the school frequently when he attended California. They threw the football together a few times. Petras helped work a football camp at the high school that Goff attended this summer.
The two exchanged numbers at one point. They started swapping texts. They talk mostly about Marin Catholic football.
“Jared is a down to earth guy,” Petras said.
Petras doesn’t remember much of Goff from his high school days. He first started following him with the Golden Bears. Petras grew up rooting for California and tracked Goff’s career from his first start as a freshman in 2013. Goff’s progression from college starter to potential NFL draft pick to No. 1 overall pick in the span of three seasons impressed Petras.
It opened his eyes to what a signal caller from Marin Catholic was capable of doing.
“Especially as a younger guy it’s like, ‘Wow, it’s possible,’ because he came out of the same area, same high school,” Petras said. “As I kind of progressed and knew what I wanted to do, play college football, I knew I had the same coach that taught him things that helped him get to this point. That was really good.”
Learning from Jared Goff
Petras pored over Goff’s old Marin Catholic highlights. His prime reason was to learn the offense. Seeing how Goff worked through his progressions was a bonus.
“One of the things that sticks out is he has such a similar play still in the way he handles himself,” Petras said. “In the pocket, for example, he always buzzed his feet like he does now.”
The two are similar quarterbacks. Each stands at least 6-foot-4, 214 pounds and is known for a strong arm. Moayed isn’t afraid to say Petras possessed the stronger one of the two in high school.
“He is extremely powerful,” Moayed told Land of 10 in December.“Probably the strongest arm we’ve had at Marin Catholic, and I had the pleasure of coaching Jared Goff when Jared was here.”
Petras has the arm strength, but he wants Goff’s cool demeanor. One of his biggest takeaways from watching Goff is how he quickly forgets about a bad play.
“It’s kind of his body language,” Petras said. “He misses a throw and he is, ‘All right, let’s go, next play.’”
He has yet to turn to Goff for a lot of quarterback-specific advice. Frankly, he didn’t need much of it in his senior season. He threw for 4,157 yards, 50 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and in the process, he broke Goff’s single-season program records for passing yards and touchdowns.
He did turn to him, though, for recruiting advice. Petras considered California this spring and wanted to know what the program was like. Ultimately, Petras picked Iowa after initially committing to Oregon State.
He knows he may very well start texting Goff about quarterback advice in the near future. After all, Division I competition is a major step up.
But before he does, Petras may send a few more congratulatory texts. The Rams are four wins from winning the Super Bowl, and Petras will be watching, with his phone nearby.