Rick Neuheisel: UCLA quarterback competition is still close

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)

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)

When UCLA starts training camp next Monday, finding a starting quarterback will be the biggest question facing the Bruins — and one that Jim Mora wants answered “sooner rather than later.”

And while most observers expect true freshman Josh Rosen to win the job, the head coach has given no public indication as to which way his leaning. This week, Mora’s predecessor offered his two cents.

On Tuesday, former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel talked about the quarterback race on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, offering his thoughts on Rosen as well as a defense of his son, returning backup Jerry Neuheisel.

The elder Neuheisel admitted that Rosen looked good in spring ball, calling him a “bonus baby” that comes in with a strong arm and plenty of hype — although without the running ability of former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.

“The question is, do you want him to go in right away and have those — the learning curve that always goes with your first couple of starts?” Neuheisel said. “And just weather that, and become the guy that everybody thinks he’s going to be? Continue reading

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Scott White makes ‘seamless’ move to UCLA linebackers coach

Scott White has only officially been UCLA’s linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for a little over a month, but his time in Westwood predates even Jim Mora.

White is entering his fifth season on the Bruins’ staff, and most recently served as a defensive quality control coach. He had been taking a visible role coaching linebackers, and was a natural candidate for a promotion after Mike Tuiasosopo was let go after just one season.

“It’s been seamless,” Mora said of the transition. “He’s doing a heck of a job on special teams. He’s got great energy and passion and the players really respond to him. He’s an excellent communicator. You guys don’t see it in the meeting room, but when he stands up in front of the team … he just has really great command. Guys tune in to him.

“The most important thing when you stand in front of a room with players is that you have credibility. You can lose it fast. Scotty has credibility with our players.” Continue reading

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Rick Neuheisel leaves Pac-12 Networks for CBS Sports

Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has left Pac-12 Networks for CBS Sports, the latter announced today.

Neuheisel compiled a lackluster 21-29 record with the Bruins from 2008-11, but soon took a job as a broadcaster with the conference’s then-fledgling record. The 54-year-old was a natural on television, and was also fun to watch when he interviewed his son/doppelganger, backup UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel.

The elder Neuheisel will be an analyst on CBS Sports’ “College Football Today” pregame show, as well as a regular part of the weekly show “Inside College Football.” He will start his new position in September.

“Rick’s enthusiasm, football acumen and experience on the field and the sidelines make him a natural on television,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “His addition strengthens our college football announce team and we look forward to showcasing his sharp insight and analysis across CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.”

Here he is singing “Born in the SEC”:

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Rick Neuheisel watches Jerry Neuheisel lead UCLA past Texas

It was almost too perfect.

Three decades after his father led UCLA to the Rose Bowl, Jerry Neuheisel’s dreams came true. In three-plus quarters of injury relief for Brett Hundley, the redshirt sophomore completed 23 of his 30 passes for 178 yards — guiding the Bruins to a 20-17 win over Texas at AT&T Stadium.

And of course, the coup de grâce: his 33-yard pass to Jordan Payton for the game-winning touchdown.

Back at the Pac-12 Networks in San Francisco, Rick Neuheisel watched the whole thing.

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Who was the last to play both ways the way Myles Jack did?

My story in today’s Los Angeles Daily News tries to figure out comparisons for the two-way eruption UCLA linebacker Myles Jack had this past weekend. You probably won’t guess at least one of the names mentioned.

Not in the article was how well Jack has handled the attention so far. Continue reading

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