Jerry Neuheisel playing professional football in Japan

Jerry Neuheisel is the only UCLA quarterback with significant game experience, but few consider him the favorite to win the starting spot. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

After playing at UCLA, Jerry Neuheisel moved to Japan and is now playing professionally with the Obic Seagulls. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

The eight former UCLA players who were drafted in this year’s NFL Draft and the four more who signed as undrafted free agents aren’t the only former Bruins embarking on professional football careers right now.

Former UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel is currently playing professionally in Japan’s Obic Seagulls after he passed on his final year of eligibility with the Bruins.

The Japan Times caught up with Neuheisel after he played a spring tournament game this past weekend against the All-Mitsubishi Lions. He tossed a 67-yard touchdown pass on his first play, but also threw two interceptions during the game.

He told The Japan Times that he was “pleasantly surprised” with the talent in Japan after only a few weeks of practice, adding that it’s “second to none.”

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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? Continue reading

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QB Jerry Neuheisel, LB Kene Orjioke plan to finish UCLA careers

Backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel and linebacker Kene Orjioke plan to finish their UCLA playing careers at the end of this season.

Both have a year of eligibility remaining, but are on track to graduate and were honored as part of the Bruins’ “Senior Night” ceremony during the team’s loss to Washington State last Saturday. Mora hinted that Neuheisel will become a graduate assistant next season.

“I don’t think you’ll see Jerry move very far away,” he said. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jerry Neuheisel prepares for another year at backup QB

After backing up Brett Hundley, UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel will now do the same for true freshman Josh Rosen.

The redshirt junior, whom head coach Jim Mora showered with praise yesterday, said he’s approaching the role the same way he always has.

“As a player, you’ve got to respect it,” Neuheisel said. “You don’t have to agree with it, but you have to respect it. What the head coach wants, the head coach gets. It’s our job to make sure we go get him the ‘W’ every time.”

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Josh Rosen officially named UCLA’s starting quarterback

Josh Rosen will be UCLA’s starting quarterback, head coach Jim Mora announced today.

The news comes more than eight months after the five-star freshman first enrolled as a Bruin, and ends a battle that pitted him against returning backup Jerry Neuheisel. Mora said he delivered the news to the quarterbacks this morning.

“You evaluate every little thing,” Mora said of the decision. “I can’t tell you that there’s a checklist, but you watch guys. … At some point, it just becomes apparent to you. You get a gut feeling. You’ve seen enough.”

UCLA, which returns its 10 other offensive starters, will opens the season against Virginia on Sept. 5 as the latest team to try and succeed with a true freshman behind center.

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