Jim Mora: UCLA’s quarterback race will factor in player’s potential

UCLA has been loath to reveal much about its quarterback competition, but Jim Mora gave his strongest hint yet at his likely choice.

On Pac-12 Networks yesterday, the Bruins’ head coach said mentioned “potential” as one of the factors in deciding between redshirt junior Jerry Neuheisel and true freshman Josh Rosen — a statement that seems to point toward the latter choice.

“You’re not just looking at first-week performance,” Mora said. “You’re looking at Week 12 and 13 performance as well. There’s so much that goes into that decision. You want to make the right decision.

“You want to make sure you pick a guy that’s going to have the respect of his teammates, that’s going to be able to handle the pressures of playing quarterback at UCLA in the Rose Bowl.”

A five-star recruit who enrolled in January, Rosen hasn’t performed as consistently this month as he did back in spring camp. Still, he offers a much higher ceiling than Neuheisel, who backed up Brett Hundley last season.

Mora said earlier this week that any source that claims the Bruins have picked a starting quarterback is “1,000 percent wrong.”

“We’re close,” he said yesterday. “I look at it this way: We’ve got a couple of guys that we have a lot of confidence in. Whichever way we go, I’m going to feel really, really great about the decision.”