Brehaut Not Burned

Long ago, Rick Neuheisel realized he had two good quarterbacks competing for one job, and that one was a redshirt freshman and one was a true freshman.
Long ago, Rick Neuheisel realized he had the luxury of holding one of the two back a year, keeping Richard Brehaut’s redshirt, putting him a year behind Kevin Prince in eligibility.
Long ago, Rick Neuheisel realized he would not.
What seemed like a hasty decision, giving Brehaut reps in Saturday’s 33-14 victory over San Diego State, was actually well-thought out and debated over.
“I made it well before the game,” Neuheisel said. “I made up my mind that he’s too good of a player, and we’re going to keep him coming along. I just believe that good things are in store for him. We’ll try to get him in the game as often as we can.”
Added Norm Chow: “I don’t think we burned any redshirt year. We need him to play, we need him to get experience. You never know when you’re going to need a guy.”
Early last week, Brehaut was told he would be called upon if the time came during the season opener, that he would not simply ride the pine this decision because he could.
“It’s been an ongoing situation,” said Brehaut, Scout.com’s No. 9 recruit out of Los Osos High. “(Neuheisel) never told me straight up I’m not redshirting. You never know with the quarterback situation how things are going to go, if guys are going to get hurt. He’s always told me, ‘Stay ready, if I can get you in the game, I’m going to.’ The opportunity came about, and luckily I was prepared.”
Brehaut entered the game with just less than five minutes to play and connected on both of his passes for 39 yards, including a 30-yard pass to Nelson Rosario.
Brehaut said he was well-prepared, having been informed of his possible playing time early. He went about his business in practice all week, just as he has done throughout camp, with the possibility of a redshirt looming overhead.
“I knew in the middle of the week last week,” Brehaut said. “I don’t think it changed my approach. I’ve always been working out here like I’m the one guy. If something happens and I’m that No. 1 guy, I need to be ready. You never know what can happen. What if KP went down? What if Kevin Craft goes down? Then I’m in there like Craft last year. I have to prepare, no matter where I am on the depth chart.”
The decision is not without its controversy, though.
Brehaut came to Westwood as a highly touted recruit, and after Prince won the starting job, it seemed clear that the newcomer would redshirt. Now, though, the two will compete for playing time throughout their careers at UCLA.
“I have to realize that I always have to put in that work,” Brehaut said. “Kev knows his stuff. He got that redshirt where he knows everything down pat. I just have to work extra hard to make sure we can keep that competition up. If we are both at that high level, it’s only going to be better for the position.”
In the meantime, Brehaut will take any opportunity he can get.
“Right now, no, I don’t think I have to catch up,” Brehaut said. “(Prince is) above the bar a little bit on me. I have a base for all the schemes. But I have to get better at the little details, with every single thing I have to do.”

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  • Anonymous

    I don’t get it. Why is everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off? The guy hasn’t lost his redshirt year. He can redshirt next year if the coaches like. Or the year after. There’s nothing magical about the freshman year.

    Geez.

  • Anonymous

    He can also use his redshirt next year or the year after to transfer.

    Get a clue.

  • The Football Gods

    oh right, because if we redshirted him and prince turned out amazing he would have LOVED to sit patiently for 4 years without starting for his 1 year of glory. its almost unheard of for a guy like him to stick around without starting for that long. this decision has little impact on whether or not he transfers.

  • Anonymous

    Again, get a clue…if he CHOSE to redshirt, he would not be able to transfer after this year without losing a year of eligibility.

  • cliq

    sounds like brehaut might be the future. is it possible that kevin prince has reached a ceiling and brehaut is now given the chance to catch up while gaining experience?

  • The Football Gods

    ah yes, because ucla has never had a qb who had previously redshirted transfer. at least not recently. that’s how much of a deterrent it is. count that clue as gotten. (had? who knows…)

    and cliq, don’t give up on kp yet! while many of us assumed brehaut was the future (including me) probably based on their recruiting rankings, we all know how misleading those can be. whatever the truth is, the future doesn’t look as solemn at qb as it did last year.

  • Fan4Life

    This was a good decision. UCLA needs not only depth but backups to push the starters for playing time and starter status. No one should be so secure in their position to think nothing less than their best effort is required every week and in the offseason.

    The depth and talent issues have been so problematic that the loss of a key player or two has spelled disaster most years.

    If Prince is fortunate enough and good enough to never leave the field in 3 or 4 years time, then as fans you can’t cry for a player to have not received the opportunity to play. All fans really care about are Ws, not if one particular players gets playing time.

  • Bruin4ever

    Give Brehaut some reps now. He needs the experience. Stuff happens i.e. injuries so it’s best that he’s prepared to enter the game with some snaps under his belt. The alternative-Have Craft come in while Brehaut sits. Give him the reps.

  • sandiegobruinfan

    If Prince has a solid year (need not be great), it is going to be very difficult for Brehaut to supplant him as the starter. RB can’t be just a little better than KP to win the job…he’ll have to be noticeably better and from all accounts, Prince has the arm to make all the throws on Chow’s passing tree. That said, I trust RN’s judgment and I like RB’s attitude…if he is eventually able to win the starting job, then we have a real special talent here.

    Go Bruins!