Cal Football: Garbers' Sibling Rivalry Poised to Move Onto Pac-12 Stage

Photo by Michael Voorhees

Jeff Faraudo

Ethan Garbers has gaudy high school stats and a scholarship to play football for the Washington Huskies next fall.

But big brother Chase still claims bragging rights.

“We’ve always been competitive towards each other,” Cal’s junior quarterback says about his younger brother. “Just about anything we do, it’s competitive. We actually just played basketball a little earlier and I beat him, like 11-3 or something.

“He thinks he can beat me, but I’ve still got the upper hand.”

Chase Garbers is established as Cal’s starting QB, having led the Bears to a bowl victory and assembled a record of 7-0 last season when he healthy enough to play more than half the game.

Ethan, rated as the No. 11 pro-style high school quarterback prospect in the country by 247Sports, will land in Seattle with an opportunity to compete for the starting job left open by the departure of Jacob Eason to the NFL.

Sophomore Jacob Sirmon, the nephew of Cal co-defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon, is considered the front-runner for the starting position, although he has two career pass completions for minus-5 yards. Also in the mix is redshirt freshman Dylan Morris, who threw 99 career touchdown passes in high school while growing up in Puyallup, a half-hour south of Seattle.

Chase says his brother shouldn't be overlooked. “He has a pretty good shot to be successful there."

There is obvious sibling affection in Chase’s voice when he talks with pride about Ethan. The two are at home in Newport Beach this spring, playing one-on-one hoops and waiting out the coronavirus before heading off to their college destinations.

Clearly, big brother’s influence only extends so far. Ethan picked the Huskies over Cal and other recruiting suitors.

“He really liked U-Dub. He liked what they had going on there,” Chase said. “They’re a winning program so I can’t blame him for his decision. But I think he wanted to get away from big brother a little bit.”

If Ethan were to secure the No. 1 spot, the brothers could duel each other when UW visits Berkeley on Oct. 31 in a matchup that would leave parents Grant and Angelique with conflicting allegiances.

Ethan assembled a near-perfect senior season for Corona Del Mar, passing for 5,034 yards with 71 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He led the Sea Kings to a 16-0 record and the California state Division 1-A championship.

Chase Garbers also put together big numbers and won a state title at Corona Del Mar. His development at Cal accelerated this past fall to where he led the Bears to wins in their final three games, including a victory that snapped a nine-year drought vs. Stanford in the Big Game.

So how do Chase and Ethan Garbers stack up?

We gave Chase the chance to address the question:

Who is the better quarterback right now?

“I’d say me, of course. He’d probably say him.”

Who will be better five years from now?

“I will. I say that with complete confidence.”

The stronger arm?

“I think he does. He’s kind of got a natural cannon on him. He has to learn at the next level, in college, you can’t throw every pass 100 mph. At the same age, he probably has a stronger arm.”

Who is faster?

“I am. He’s slow.”

Who’s smarter?

“I am.”

Who’s better looking?

“Me. Definitely not him.”

Big brother has spoken.

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo

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