FULL STORY: Brett Hundley named starting QB

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For weeks, even months UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley looked the part and played the part of a starter.

Now it’s official.

UCLA coach Jim Mora announced on Friday through a school release that Hundley will be the starting quarterback, news that isanti-climatic and surprise to no one since the redshirt freshman proved impressivethroughout spring camp. Hundley clearly leapfrogged a supposed four-man competition during the first week of fall camp. Mora throughout the process was hesitant in naming a starter just yet, stressing that he needed more time to evaluate a group that included Kevin Prince, Richard Brehaut and Jerry Neuheisel.

Mora broke aself-imposed Aug. 16 deadline to name a starter, making the announcement on UCLA’s off day.

“All four quarterbacks have raised their level of play significantly since my staff and I took over, and we are excited about all of them,” said Mora in the statement. “That said, Brett has consistently demonstrated the qualities we value in a starting quarterback and is an outstanding leader who commands the respect of his teammates.

“He has shown excellent decision-making skills, and his accuracy and timing continue to improve with each practice. In addition, he has shown the mobility and creativity needed when a play breaks down.”

Hundley took to Twitter to express his feeling, tweeting “God is good.”

CBSSports.com reported that Hundley was informed of the decision on Friay in a meeting attended by offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, Mora, Prince and Brehaut. Hundley told the website that “I cried my eyes out” and that “it was everything I’ve ever dreamed of.”

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Just two days ago, Hundley was asked if he was feeling like a leader, but was uneasy about answering the question.

“Yes and no,” Hundley said. “You can’t ever say you’re sort of the leader. It just comes naturally.”

With a week left of fall camp and less than three weeks before the season opener against Rice in Houston, Hundley will assume his new role as leader, and now the real work begins.

The former five-star recruit brings incredible arm strength, accuracy, mobility, speed, poise and leadership, all attributes Mora pointed to during the first week of fall camp when Mora continually was asked to describe what he’s looking for in a starting quarterback.

Through the first week he’s proven to makegood decisions in the pocket, and has beentested with an offensive line that continues to struggle with consistent rotation from first and second units stemming from a slew of injuries . That he can extend plays with his legs and thinks quick on his feet makes Hundley a hot commodity and the obvious choice to help offset the line’s inexperience and lack of depth.

UCLA has not enjoyed any consistency from its heralded quarterbacks since Cade McNown made a run at the Heisman Trophy in 1998. Hundley was the nation’s No. 3 quarterback out of Chandler (Ariz.) High and a SuperPrep All-American. His skills and intangibles seemed tailor-made for Rick Neuheisel’s pistol offense last year, but the onedubbed “the annointed one” instead spent last year behind a Prince-Brehaut tandem plagued by inconsistency and injuries. Mora’s spread offense now caters to Hundley’s strengths.

UCLA resumes camp today with a two-a-day practice beginning at 8:30 a.m. and a second session at 5:30 p.m.

With week left of camp at Cal State San Bernardino, Mora now will focus on finding a backup to Hundley, a predicament that Prince nor Brehaut had in mind coming into this season.

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  • INSANITY

    MIGUEL! Welcome! Love reading your reports! Just a small correction: Hundley tweeted “GOD is Good”. “Good is good” makes him sound a little arrogant ha ha. Amazing how one extra ‘O’ can change the way something sounds : )

  • Anonymous

    Good is Good or God is good? What I know about Mr Hundley, I”ll go with “God is good”.

  • Coach Rick Neuheisal

    Dear Fellow Bruins,

    You’re welcome. I recruited him and I saved his redshirt even though I knew it probably meant my ass and now while you’re falling all over yourselves with this new coach, remember who set this table.

    Coach Rick

  • INawe

    Trolls be trolling.

  • Anonymous

    Call me silly, but this move puts us right in the hunt for the national championship. This kid is without a doubt the finest QB in the west

  • Anonymous

    And yes, I’m including Barkley. He is better than Barkley.

  • kenny

    Anonymous – you are being silly.

  • Anonymous

    Kenny,

    I hope not. I just have a special feeling…

  • scottyciotta

    The biggest difference in all of this is, last year, Neuheisel says he will pick a QB a week before the Houston game, then shows his team that there will be zero confidence in the season from the top of the team on down by picking no QB. It showed as there was no leader at the position and no confidence. This year, Mora says he will pick by Aug 16th and picks on the 10th, not feeling the need to wait because he is confident in his choice. This is a move that will be felt from the top on down and the team will have confidence knowing they FINALLY have a leader

  • localbruin

    Good decision. The net performance of a gifted freshman and a pedestrian senior might be similar in 2012, but the payoff is much higher with the freshman in 2014.

    A freshman QB and a fumble-prone tailback behind an OL of as yet undefined fitness and athletic ability bodes ill for instant success.

  • Anonymous

    1. Hundley, 2. Brehaut, 3. Neuheisel, 4. Prince

  • Well-Respected Man About Town

    The next thing on Coach Jimbo’s to-do list is get back to the uniforms of the 90s when UCLA was a respected FB program,.

    Look at the picture…the gussets are getting as small as the brains of the writers at BN.

    My classic “26″ DeShawn Foster is currently being worn by my daughter when off-duty as a navigator of a Guided Missile Destroyer off the coast of Syria…as a 20-something, she demands the look she remembers from her youth!

    easy cure…buy the away unis from that MAC team that presents the UCLA gusseted jersey’s better than the Bruins.

  • Kiffin

    Talking about a honest statement:
    “I would never vote my team #1.”
    “We don’t negative recruit.”
    Hm? If you can’t trust Kiffin, who can you trust?