UCLA football post-spring: Offense

Quarterback

Be happy that you have one of the best quarterbacks in the conference. Brett Hundley isn’t flawless, but not many players in the country have the same level of tantalizing potential. (I don’t think he’ll leave, but if Hundley declares for the 2014 draft, SI already has him as the No. 8 pick.)

A superlative freshman campaign — 3,745 yards, 29 touchdowns against 11 picks — proved that the 6-foot-3 dual threat is the quarterback the Bruins have long sought. Perhaps the biggest knock on him was his decision-making, whether that meant not throwing the ball away when he needed to or not sliding at the right time. In spring, he looked like he corrected some of that, drawing cheers from his teammates once when he slid on a scramble.

He also took 52 sacks last season — second-most in college football, and something that did start to affect him later in the fall. Continue reading

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(Bi-)Weekly Q&A Answers — 4/28/13

Q: What are realistic expectations for the football team this year?

I think double-digit wins and another Pac-12 South title are both very much attainable. I’ll wait and see how the running back committee and offensive line develop before picking UCLA for the Rose Bowl though. The secondary could be noticeably better than it was last season, if the freshmen are as good as expected and guys like Anthony Jefferson and Ishmael Adams can build on what they showed in spring.

Q: Who looks to be the leader to be the main running back this year or will it by committee? Whatever happened to Craig Lee the running back recruit who was retaking his SATs?

UCLA will definitely use a committee, but if you had to pick someone right now, it’d be Jordon James. Still, I doubt anyone gets more than 10-12 carries per game. Craig Lee is still trying to get a high enough score on his SAT.

Q: Is Steve Manfro injured? I’ve not noticed any news about him this spring. Continue reading

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UCLA ‘Spring Showcase’ notes

— Brett Hundley looked sharp, completing 16 of 23 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. He did take three sacks, however, which is mildly concerning considering that Jim Mora admitted the team did “basically nothing” in terms of defensive schemes. That said, the offensive line only has seven bodies right now.

Quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone said the 52 sacks Hundley took started to affect him late last season, as he got a slight case of “happy feet.” He’s up to 230 pounds and down to 8 percent body fat, which should help.

— Cornerback Marcus Rios is out for the season with a rare fungal infection. He told the LA Times that the infection started in his sinus, but then reached behind his eye and brain in what sounds like something out of “Contagion.” He added that only 12 people have ever had it, and eight died. He didn’t say exactly what the infection was, so I’m not sure how true that is or if his case is as serious. Best wishes to him. Continue reading

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UCLA free agent signings

Will be updated as news comes in. Most recent: 4/30, 11:52 a.m.
***
Chicago Bears — safety/linebacker Dalton Hilliard (mini-camp invite)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers — receiver Jerry Johnson
Denver Broncos — cornerback Aaron Hester
Indianapolis Colts — cornerback Sheldon Price
San Francisco 49ers — long snapper Kevin McDermott
Detroit Lions — tight end Joe Fauria

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