With UCLA’s newfound success — let’s not talk about Oregon State right now, OK? — players have emerged as true playmakers with the ability to change games with their performance.
First, redshirt freshman Hundley was added to the Maxwell Award Watch List, awarded by sportscasters, writers and head coaches to the best football player in the nation:
— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) September 28, 2012
Of course, UCLA has also gotten some love defensively. Datone Jones has been added to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, which is awarded to the best defensive player in the nation:
#UCLA DE Datone Jones added to our Chuck Bednarik Award presented by Cracker Barrel Watch List
— Maxwell Football(@MaxwellAwards) September 28, 2012
Both Hundley and Jones have vastly improved both the UCLA offense and defense respectively.
The UCLA defensive line is easily one of the best in the Pac-12 and Datone Jones has anchored that line at the defensive end position. He has eight tackles for a loss through four games to go along with 15 total tackles and a sack. More importantly, he’s disrupted opposing offense’s backfields on a consistent basis. In other words, he’s finally living up to the lofty expectations ascribed to him.
Hundley, on the other hand, has led an improved UCLA offense and has put up stats comparable to quarterback Heisman contenders Matt Barkley and Marcus Mariota. He’s been a hell of an x-factor in all four games with his mobility, and this is despite the fact that, in over half of the snaps he’s taken, he’s been playing on a bum ankle, one which he suffered against Nebraska.
Both have been incredible for UCLA in 2012, and we hope they continue it.