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Upgraded by a Hundley-fold — Jim Mora names Redshirt Freshman Brett Hundley as UCLA’s new STARTING Quarterback

Further distancing himself from the Neuheisel Era of Mediocrity, new Bruin Head Coach Jim Mora has pulled the trigger on a major change from the last three years, supplanting Kevin Prince with rising star Brett Hundley as the new Starting QB for UCLA.  Prince fought valiantly to carry the Bruins despite a serious lack of Pass Blocking, but multiple injuries derailed his efforts.  Richard Brehuat came in and performed well, and probably had the edge over Prince in the battle to start, but didn’t show enough to hold off the hard-charging young Freshman.

Prince was coming off an injury in the Spring, which probably relegated him to third string.  And Brehaut’s ARM may be comparable to Hundley’s, but it was Brett’s LEGS that most likely put him over the top.  Hundley’s elusiveness, pocket presence, and knack for finding open field to scramble away from the pass rush were apparently the factors that lifted him above the other competitors.

Hundley’s Vick-like abilities give the Bruin Offense a whole new dimension.  Prince was a pretty good runner himself, but Hundley is in a whole ‘nother league.  Prince could take advantage of misdirection, and exploit a confused Defense, while Hundley finds seams that are barely visible, makes defenders miss tackles, jukes them out of their jockstraps, and explodes down the field for huge gains.  And with an Offensive Line that is suspect and still unproven, escapability will be the key to sustaining drives.  I am not convinced that Hundley will rack up a ton of Passing yards, but I am convinced that he will be able to improvise better than anyone has in Westwood (or Pasadena) since Cade McNown.  Hundley will move the chains, and keep Defenses honest, allowing the Bruins’ capable Running Backs to garner big chunks of yards.

Another reason why Hundley got the nod is his intangible Leadership quality.  Mora has been impressed with Brett’s poise, and with the way the team responds to him.  Even though Prince has always played with courage and resolve, you never felt like the team was fully behind him, or would give that extra effort to support him.  If Hundley can bring out the best of his teammates, the Bruins may finally be able to shed that label of “mediocre,” which has dogged them for a decade, and which Mora appears determined to erase.

"GETTING BRETTER ALL THE TIME" was published on August 11th, 2012 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, News from the Dark Side, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

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