Jim Mora: UCLA backup QB Jerry Neuheisel is ‘something special’

UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel (11) is heading into his final game as a Bruin, but could stay with the team in a different capacity. (John Valenzuela/Staff)

UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel (11) is heading into his final game as a Bruin, but could stay with the team in a different capacity. (John Valenzuela/Staff)

The Foster Farms Bowl will be the last game for Jerry Neuheisel, ending a UCLA career that he punctuated with one of the most thrilling comebacks in recent Bruin history.

His next step after Saturday, however, remains uncertain. The backup quarterback has made clear his aspirations to become a coach. Head coach Jim Mora hinted last month that the redshirt junior could become a UCLA graduate assistant, but said this week that the two have only engaged in “preliminary discussions.”

He did take the opportunity to laud Neuheisel’s dedication to the Bruins, pointing out that he is closing his career the same way he began it in 2012: as UCLA’s scout team offensive player of the year.

“Jerry’s awesome,” Mora said. “Jerry is something special. He’s one of my favorite people in the world after only knowing him for four years. How can you not love the guy? His attitude, his work ethic. …

“Your backup quarterback says the way I can best help this team is to go over and work with the first-team defense as the scout-team quarterback. That’s rare. That does not happen.”

The loss of Neuheisel — who will likely be best remembered for his game-winning touchdown pass against Texas in 2014 — leaves a void at backup quarterback, a role that he has occupied for three straight seasons.

Mora said that former walk-on Mike Fafaul, who competed for the starting spot this past offseason, intends to stay with the team for his redshirt senior season. Three-star recruit Matt Lynch has also signed with the Bruins and intends to enroll early.

  • Richard

    Jerry is the heart and soul of who we are. A talented guy who always put his team and UCLA first. We are so fortunate to have him & hopefully will continue to have him. God Bless & Good Luck whatever he does. # Bruin Nation is absolutely DYING to see him get some PT vs Nebraska !!

    • EncinitasBruin

      Amen to that. He personifies Bruin class and poise. Would love to see him join the staff next year as an assistant. I could see him eventually becoming a QB specialist, and working his way up from there. Go Jerry! Go Bruins! Beat the Huskers!

  • Laker rod

    Jerry is great. But coach mora still made the right decision to start the true freshman Rosen.

    • Richard

      Wait a minute Wait a minute !!
      YOU were the one BEMOANING, haranguing & vehemently remonstrating JR’s selectionn n n

      • Laker Rod

        Ah did I say that? I don’t remember. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping all this straight.

        • Richard

          LOL You’re great !
          Merry Christmas

          • 88 Straight

            Richard, that’s clearly an imposter. The real Rod has no sense of humor.

          • Just Owns

            Wait a minute, impostors on Wang’s blog. I don’t believe it. That sort thing was invented by KU Wolf blog fans to hide their loser shame.

          • Laker Rod

            Nobody would try to impersonate you though. LOL!!

            I do have a sense of humor 🙂

          • 88 Straight

            Sure you do! The worst lies you tell are the ones you tell yourself.

          • Laker Rod

            LOL!!! Butt hurt again since nobody tries to impersonate you. I mean who would try to impersonate a guy who thinks a team can win with true freshmen. LOL!!!

          • 88 Straight

            Teams can. You on the other hand will always be a loser.

    • Laker Rod

      Lame. What a sad individual who has to replicate one’s sign on. Imitation is the finest form of flattery. For all…feel free to take a look at this loser’s profile and comments history.

      Mr. Wang or Admin…feel free to address the issue if you wish. Thank you

      • 88 Straight

        Usually the sequel is a lot worse than the original. However, this proves that it is possible for the imposter to be vastly superior to the original.

        • Laker Rod

          LOL!! Dumb as usual from you. I repeat…nobody would try to imitate you. LOL!!

          • 88 Straight

            Actually you did on a live chat several weeks back. It was pretty pathetic but to be expected from the V Troll.

          • Laker Rod

            LOL!! What are you talking about. Just making up more lies as usual. 8-5 season. So what do you think? Wrong again! LOL!!

          • 88 Straight

            Deny it all you want, Loser Rod. You are beyond stupid and lie regularly. I remember when you said that Luck led Stanford to the PAC-12 Title. I called you out on it and you went back, deleted that line and claimed it never happened. You are simply an ignorant, little lying troll and nothing more.

  • Frank Bonaccorso

    It would be great gesture if Mora would give Jerry the first snap against Nebraska for the Bruins as a true show of appreciation. Then Jerry would have one start in his UCLA career. Coach Wooden always gave his bench seniors the start in the last game of the year.

    • Richard

      Right on. U have it exactly right. Irrespective of the importance of the game, CJW would start all his seniors at the beginning of their last game.
      I will be surprised if CJM doesn’t find some way to honor JN during this game !

  • Paul

    Could have started for a lesser program or gone ivy (kid’s a great student), but was born a Bruin. Making him QB coach would be a vast improvement…would love to see the offensive schemes he and Rosen would come up with. #FireMazzne

  • Laker Rod

    Best wishes to Jerry. I have no idea what he doesn’t stick around if he has one year of eligibility left. Having only one back up QB is not enough.

    While Jim Mora and most of us know the value of Jerry we have some on this board who thinks he garbage and can only produce a 2-10 season. LOL!!! Or wait…was that changed to 3-9 and then to 4-8 or then 5-7 or even 6-6. LOL!!!

    • 88 Straight

      Nice try again. You have no shame, no knowledge, no respect for the truth, no experience playing a sport and an overall general ignorance. It turns out thought, that you do have a sense of humor. 99% of people on the blog laugh at your opinions.

      • Laker Rod

        Yup. Jerry should have played this year and Rosen should have redshirted. Better yet…Woulard should have been UCLA’s starter.

        8-5…Mora’s worst record yet. Same for conference record at 5-4. Rosen 2 more interceptions. Blown snap where he wasn’t ready for it on a critical 3rd down then missed field goal.

        I repeat…anybody dumb enough to go with a true frosh in his 4th year….

        And it’s idiots like you who wanted it. You got exactly what you deserved.

        Mora’s two bowl losses are when he went with frosh QB’s also. Gee go figure. It’s dummies like you who can’t figure this out.

        • 88 Straight

          Sure, UCLA lost last night because of Rosen. Was Rosen playing D last night? Was Rosen getting killed on the line of scrimmage? His 2 picks were meaningless, the last one being a desperation heave on 4th down.

          Your best DB, Adams did manage to get beat again for a TD. He’s become very good at that.,

          It’s a team game and the team didn’t show up ready to play. But what would you know about a team? Nothing. You have never played on one. Nothing more than a little V Troll.

          • Laker Rod

            Vastly superior per you but can only produce 8-5 and 5-4 in conference and finish as 9th ranked QB in rating. LOL!!!

            And look at you now. Trying to criticize 5th year seniors like Wallace. LOL!! What about Jake Brendel? What about Eric Kendricks last year? What about Jonathan Franklin in 2012 as a redshirt senior? How about Connor Cook as a redshirt senior? What about Stanford and all their redshirt seniors.

            Quit making a FOOL of yourself.

            Maybe the team didn’t show up either because they lack senior leadership. There are very few seniors even on the squad this year. Wake up.

            It’s obvious YOU have never played the game. You have no clue what senior leadership is even is.

          • 88 Straight

            Yeah, Brendel had a nice snap last night in crunch time too. Leadership is what is important, whether it be from a senior or anyone else. Nobody disputes the importance of leadership but you need talent as well and Jerry simply doesn’t have it. It is about players respecting their leaders and the team played soft last night and the coaches were ill-prepared. The coaches are the main leaders and they failed.

            Where was Adams’ leadership, That’s your guy. He got worked over again and he provided his leadership with the Uber driver earlier in the year. But hey, maybe Mora will shake up the staff and offer you a position. After all, you seem to know it all. You are great at the cliches’ that everyone knows. like “senior leadership.” Wow, what a concept! How about another one that is revolutionary, like “the game is won and lost in the trenches.” Only Laker Rod knows that! What a tool!