Inching closer and closer to January 15th, the deadline for NFL draft declarations, means inching closer and closer to the much anticipated announcement from Brett Hundley. The redshirt sophomore quarterback has lead UCLA to 19 wins in two seasons as a starter. When he came from Chandler, Arizona, Hundley’s potential impact sent fans into a frenzy. A dual threat QB with a mind for the game and an attitude that would benefit him and UCLA both on and off the field – who wouldn’t want that? Well, Bruin fans got him, though he was redshirted in his first season with the team. Now, sadly for Bruins, it may be time to bid farewell to this Westwood hero. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of forgoing either the NFL or Hundley’s career at UCLA.
Pros of moving on/Leaving Westwood:
- Hundley is projected to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in the 2014 NFL draft, and his competition next year surely won’t be easy as it is likely that Heisman winner Jamies Winston of Florida State University and Marcus Mariota of Oregon will make the jump to “The League”. Maybe this is the year for him, as many scouts doubt former Texas A&M QB Johnny “Football” Manziel – and his attitude may be a place of worry, too.
- New rookie wage scales have minimized the gap between first round and second round picks, but its unlikely Hundley would be a second round pick this season or next.
- We are all witness to the infamous “Unfinished Business” announcement by USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who was a projected first round and possible top 5 pick but returned to Los Angeles, failed to finish anything at all, hurt his shoulder against the Bruins, and fell to the fourth round of the draft. Hundley wouldn’t want the same to happen to him
- UCLA’s best offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo just declared for the NFL draft, less protection means potential for an injury to Hundley. We saw this, also, across town as Matt Barkley lost Matt Khalil and was hammered on his blindside by Anthony Barr.
Cons of moving on/leaving Westwood:
- Hundley has tremendous raw talent and an amazing skill set, but a sophomore slump showed a lack of ability to throw the deep ball and poor vision in some circumstances. His skills could use development, and regardless of what some people say, the NFL is not the best place to develop.
- UCLA has a legitimate shot at greatness next season. After grinding for 10 wins for the first time in nine years the Bruins seem to be doing things right. Young players of 2013 won’t be so young in 2014, and more experience when it comes to players like Thomas Duarte, Eddie Vanderdoes, and Myles Jack may mean drastic improvements from already impressive freshman seasons. Those improvements could mean a college football playoff bid, and if all goes right, a shot at the national championship. Leaving that behind and possibly being drafted by the Raiders sounds crazy.
- Bruin football, in layman’s terms, will take a step back. Losing Hundley could mean the difference in a 1-10 national ranking v. a 15-25 national ranking without him. Sure, the nations top rated dual threat QB as of two years ago in Asiantii Woulard is making the necessary improvements as he waits for his shot but a simple lack of experience, regardless of his surefire talent, is going to be a hit to the Bruins wellness.
- “Heroes get remembered but legends never die.” is more than applicable to this scenario. In fact, its tailored to it perfectly. If Hundley leaves this year he’ll be a hero remembered for 19 wins and a great start to the Mora era. His stats will be reminders of his presence, and his name will chime bells. Should Hundley opt into staying, he can leave a legendary mark on Los Angeles and college football. One that inspires recruits years down the road to attend UCLA, and one that inspires young people to follow their dreams.
Make what you wish with this list, but it seems in Hundley’s best interest to remain at UCLA for one more season and become what every child dreams of: a legend. Check in soon for updates on his announcement, but rest assured he is going to make whatever choice he ultimately sees as best.