Jim Mora said Brett Hundley’s return for a redshirt junior season makes him a viable Heisman candidate. The school has already begun its marketing campaign.
Quarterback Brett Hundley announced Monday morning his decision to return to UCLA for his redshirt junior season, turning down the 2014 NFL draft. “What we have built for next year, all the stars are aligned,” he said. Story here.
UCLA has announced a 9 a.m. Monday press conference for Brett Hundley’s “major announcement.”
UCLA’s potential run at a Rose Bowl or national title is still alive.
Quarterback Brett Hundley will return to UCLA for his redshirt junior season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, turning down what could have been a first-round selection in the NFL draft. The star quarterback had said after the Bruins’ 42-12 Sun Bowl win over Virginia Tech last week that he had “no idea” what his decision will be.
Hundley rushed for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns against the Hokies while throwing for 226 yards and two more scores — breaking Cade McNown’s UCLA bowl game record for total offensive yards. The redshirt sophomore has struggled with decision-making throughout the season, but his talent and upside make him a tantalizing pro prospect.
When he declares, Hundley will be the first Bruin quarterback drafted since McNown went 12th overall to the Chicago Bears in 1999. McNown took UCLA to its last Rose Bowl berth four months earlier.
In Wednesday’s edition of the Daily News:
– My story on UCLA’s 42-12 win over Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl, and where the Bruins sit heading into 2014. (Mainly, awaiting Brett Hundley’s NFL draft decision.)
– Jill Painter’s column on why quarterback Hundley should go pro after his standout showing in El Paso.
– A notebook on linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, who closed his UCLA career with co-MVP honors in the Sun Bowl.
After UCLA’s win over USC on Nov. 30, head coach Jim Mora seized the moment. During a live postgame interview, he attempted to rope star quarterback Brett Hundley into committing to another year in college.
It didn’t work — Hundley demurred on his NFL draft decision — but a month later, Mora remained optimistic heading into a Sun Bowl matchup against Virginia Tech.
Asked today if he’s thought about the redshirt sophomore potentially playing his final game as a Bruin, the coach said: “I don’t think it will be. I’m very hopeful it won’t be.”
Earlier this week, Hundley said he had not yet received feedback from the NFL draft advisory board, and remains uncertain about his future. Continue reading
The notebook that ran in today’s edition of the Daily News covers some of Cassius Marsh’s value as an NFL prospect, whether it be at defensive end, linebacker or even tight end. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay gave the UCLA senior a fourth- or fifth-round draft grade. Here’s what he said about some other Bruins:
Linebacker Anthony Barr
“He’s not as talented as (South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon) Clowney. He’s not as big, and he’s probably just a notch below in terms of the explosive athleticism. But I think Barr is still a very, very talented player who’s only played the defensive side for two years. Who continues to get better and better in terms of his play, how he’s using his hands, how he’s getting off blocks. I think when it’s all said and done, he’s going to wind up being a top-five pick. Continue reading
UCLA held its annual end-of-season banquet Sunday night at Beverly Hilton, handing out team awards in 15 different categories. These were the results.
Henry R. “Red” Sanders Award for Most Valuable Player
Offense – OL Xavier Su’a-Filo
Defense – LB Anthony Barr
Paul I. Wellman Award for All-Around Excellence
QB Brett Hundley
Nick “Pac” Pasquale Award for Outstanding Scout Team Player
Offense – OL Carl Hulick
Defense – DE Zach Vinci
Special Teams – RB Ryan Davis
Kenneth S. Washington Award for Outstanding Senior of the Year
Offense – Shaq Evans
Defense – Jordan Zumwalt
Special Teams – Stan McKay Continue reading
Q: What is your gut feeling on whether or not Brett Hundley stays? Should he decide to bolt for the NFL, who do you see as starting QB next year? Does Mariota’s announcement that he’s returning for his junior year at Oregon affect BH’s decision? If he leaves, will Devin Fuller get a chance to be quarterback? Do you see a big dropoff from Hundley to the next QB?
A: I think he stays, though I could see a team reaching for him in the first round based on potential. Marcus Mariota’s return to Oregon does thin out the quarterback class, however, as does Zach Mettenberger’s torn ACL. Even Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, a potential No. 1 overall pick, isn’t a complete lock to declare for the draft.
If Hundley does leave, the job will go to Asiantii Woulard, who has major upside. Unless he makes significant strides in spring and fall, however, he wouldn’t be close to what Hundley would do as a third-year starter. Devin Fuller won’t be moving back to quarterback; he’s much more useful as a receiver.
Q: What is the deal with the Wear twins’ slump? Senior leadership works better when your seniors aren’t worse than the underclassmen. Continue reading
“I’m not concerned at all, to be honest,” he told sports radio host Jim Rome. “I haven’t really heard too much. Obviously, there’s so much talk about it right now. But I’m not concerned about it at all. I know Coach Mora. I love him to death. Obviously, he loves UCLA. He loves the players. We love him. We’re not really worried or anything like that about him leaving.”
Of course, it would have been surprising if Hundley or other Bruins had said otherwise, but they at least backed up the tone Mora set with his post-USC press conference. Earlier reports that Mora was in Seattle were unfounded. Continue reading