Brett Hundley among five UCLA Bruins invited to NFL Combine

Brett Hundley, right, runs around defensive end Jonathan Johnson (11) during UCLA's 36-34 win at Cal on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Brett Hundley, right, runs around defensive end Jonathan Johnson (11) during UCLA’s 36-34 win at Cal on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (Eric Risberg/AP)

The NFL Scouting Combine released its list of invites today, and there weren’t any real surprises on UCLA’s end.

Brett Hundley, who set multiple school records in three seasons as a starter, was included — the mild kerfuffle over his Senior Bowl absence having not knocked him off his status as the consensus No. 3 quarterback in the draft. So too were defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa and linebacker Eric Kendricks, who represent the Bruins’ other chances to produce a first-round draft pick for the third year in a row.

A recent SI.com mock draft projected Kendricks to go No. 30 overall to the Green Bay Packers, while Odighizuwa followed at No. 37 (New York Jets) and Hundley at No. 41 (St. Louis Rams).

Senior defensive back Anthony Jefferson, who played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and earned a late invite to the Senior Bowl, was also invited to the combine and could a late-round draft pick. The latter fact can also be said for defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, who made a surprise decision to declare for the NFL draft.

One former Bruin made the cut too. Defensive back Tevin McDonald started nearly two full seasons at UCLA before being dismissed in March 2013, transferred to Eastern Washington and earned All-Big-Sky first-team honors this past season.

  • EncinitasBruin

    Here’s a question, fellow Bruins (sort of a chicken or egg thing): Is it a sign that we are behind SC in numbers of elite-level players if they have 11 guys invited to the combine to our 5? Also, are they still riding the success built by Carroll, or do kids select SC because its tradition reaches back years before PC (11 natties, Heismans, etc)? Just four short seasons ago UCLA was known as the basketball school with the gutty, “finesse” football team. So how many more seasons before the new brand of Bruin football–tough, passionate, physical–is solidifed for us?

    • Woochifer

      The Bruins have 20 starters returning next season. Guys like Jack, Ish, Clark, EV, Hollins, Brendel, Redmond, and Perkins would all likely have been invited, had they been eligible and/or chosen to leave early. Southern Cal having that many guys invited to the combine also means that they have a lot more holes to fill next season.

      • EncinitasBruin

        Great point. Come to think of it, every single one of our departing starters were invited to the combine.

    • Tommy B Low Us

      UCLA is headed in the right direction with a rock solid passionate head coach. Coach Mora shows stability at the top. Also the new wasserman facility will show all new recruits that the Bruins are headed toward elite status. I also believe that guys like AB, BH, and EK will show the NFL that UCLA is developing guys properly. The next few years are going to be amazing to watch. Go Bruins!!

    • MPPBruin

      1) We’re barely behind in this category. Our recruiting class was excellent. So I expect these combine invite numbers to change in the upcoming years.
      2) They’ve been at least pretty good for a long time while we’re just starting to get up to where we should be.
      3) Four years isn’t really all that long of a time if you consider that we were a joke for a period of what was probably the formative years for a lot of these guys.
      4) It will be easier when the football facility is built.
      5) I think we still have a ways to go as not just a program, but a community of UCLA fans and supporters. I feel like USC is more of a cultish following that it will take us time to develop.

    • Woochifer

      Also, Ohio State only has FOUR players headed to the NFL Combine. The media is hyping this up as a reason for anointing the Buckeyes as the prohibitive favorite to repeat as NC.