50 GREATEST GOLDEN BEARS - #29 - AARON RODGERS#29 - AARON RODGERS - QUARTERBACK (2003-2004)
While Jeff Tedford did great things with Kyle Boller during their only season together, the Coach may always be associated with Aaron Rodgers - the overlooked kid who Tedford found by accident at Butte JC.
Tedford was recruiting Rodgers' teammate Garrett Cross when he noticed the crisp release and sound fundamentals of the young man delivering Cross the football. Within months, Rodgers was backing up Reggie Robertson as Cal's QB. A few weeks later, he had the starting job and would go on to record the best season by a sophomore QB in conference history. For the year Rodgers completed 215 of 349 passes for 2903 yards and 19 touchdowns against only five interceptions. His 3113 yards of total offense that year ranks second only to Pat Barnes (1996) in Cal history. In Cal's 52-49 Insight Bowl victory over Virginia Tech, Rodgers threw for two scores and ran for two more.
In 2004 Rodgers earned first-team All-Pac 10 Conference honors in leading Cal to its best regular season record (10-1) since 1950. Aaron led the conference with a 154.35 passing efficiency rating and threw for 2566 yards and 24 touchdowns. He tied an NCAA Division 1 single-game record for consecutive completions, connecting on his first 23 attempts against USC. My favorite Aaron Rodgers memory is from that season, when he laid out a Stanford DB on Marshawn Lynch's 55-yard TD run.
Rodgers was drafted as the #23 overall selection by the Green Bay Packers in 2005, and is the heir apparent to Brett Favre at quarterback.