Jon Gold: Alright, Huff, one more time: Brett Hundley. Is this going to happen?
Brandon Huffman: “In my opinion, they’re very much in it. They’re in his top two. I think it’s an Oregon-UCLA battle for him. But I think part of it is the expectation that UCLA has to sign an elite quarterback, and he’s ranked high. We’re a little responsible for it by ranking guys at certain spots. Hundley is a guy who’s really highly thought of, and he does have a good arm. The feeling by most of the guys is that he’s the guy they need. But if you look back just a couple years ago, Kevin Prince became that late edition to the class, and he wasn’t a four-star quarterback. He wasn’t an All-American. Nick Crissman was that guy. Now Prince is the two-year starter as a sophomore.”
JG: Norm Chow has the reputation of being a quarterback guru, but not all of his future stars were that highly ranked. Can he develop the next Matt Leinart?
BH: “Because he was the Mater Dei quarterback, he was thought highly of. A guy UCLA and Oklahoma recruited, and they had just won a National Championship. At the same time, he really developed through Chow. What fans at UCLA fail to realize is that he didn’t have to be the guy until the third season. He had an incredible amount of talent around him and an incredible line. For Chow, his first year, the top two quarterbacks get hurt and then in his second year, there’s a redshirt freshman. It’s not like Chow’s gotten a full collection of chess pieces to work with.”
JG: Alright, back to the camps this weekend, who stood out at the lineman camp?
BH: I would say Torian White was definitely the best offensive lineman there. Most athletic, and the performance in the one-on-ones was impressive. Ben Wysocky played really well. Danny Shelton from Washington was the best performer, period. I’ve seen him play a lot, and he’s an absolute beast. Washington is going after him very hard, though, and it will be tough to get him out of state. Arik Armstead was probably the second best defensive line performer but to SC at lunchtime, and that shocked some people. Jeff Worthy did another good job at the camp and really surprised everyone by committing to Boise State on Saturday.”
JG: UCLA fans really thought they were going to land Worthy. So did Boise State fans. So did Nebraska. What would you tell fans who get crushed when a guy doesn’t choose their school?
BH: Exactly. A great prospect who has 40 offers, he’s not going to go to 39 schools. They could be landing other big time guys. Signing day, people were crying in their cheerios because Ricky Heimuli commits to Oregon. Two hours later, Josh Shirley commits to UCLA, and no one in the world thought that was going to happen. You have these ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys in recruiting. Fans get too attached to players they liked. Why are our coaches failing? Well 40 other coaches are going after these guys with the same vigor and enthusiasm. Look at Worthy. He just felt it at Boise State. Fans look at the names and think UCLA should never be out-recruited by Boise State, but the fact is, Boise State has been more successful in the last 10 years. Much more successful. Fans get SO emotionally invested that it’s almost an insult when the kid doesn’t pick a school. But guess what? Chris Peterson put all his eggs in that basket. Bo Pellini put a lot of effort in on him, too.”