As the UCLA Bruin football team gets ready for their Spring Showcase next Saturday, we will be able to get a preview of what quarterback Brett Hundley and company will have in store for us next fall. Going into the season, it will no doubt be Hundley’s team, but who will handle the back up spot in a season that looks to be promising the Bruins? Right now, the quarterback battle is between redshirts, sophomore Jerry Neuheisel and freshman Asiantii Woulard.
When Neuheisel’s father, Rick Neuheisel, was fired as the UCLA head coach a few seasons ago, the young quarterback made an honorable decision to stick with the college he started with. With Hundley in control of the starting spot, Neuheisel was just looking to help out his team as best as he could. Last season he made a few appearances for the Bruins, one in which he held down the ship at Utah while Hundley sat out several plays mid-game.
The sophomore QB had 84.6% of his passes completed (11 for 13), averaged 9.5 yards per completion and finished with a quarterback rating of 164.7. Despite not playing that much last season, he has stood out during Spring Practice.
Re: UCLA’s backup QB, Jim Mora said Jerry Neuheisel “catches (his) eye.” Admits rising RS frosh Asiantii Woulard has “stalled” recently.
— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) April 19, 2014
So that brings us to what is going on with Woulard.
Thought to be heir-apparent to Hundley, Woulard came into UCLA already set with the skills to take over when the Brett Era ended. He had the size, speed and looked the part. Things have changed this off-season, not so much to where Mora is naming Neuheisel the back-up QB, but enough to know the back-up quarterback battle is in serious contention.
Jim Mora on backup QB Asiantii Woulard’s development: “He has stalled a little bit. Does it concern me? A little. But I think it’s common.” — Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) April 19, 2014
To be fair, Woulard has not taken a snap under center in a game, but does have an extra year on Neuheisel, but it says a lot about the development of the sophomore QB. Woulard could still be in contention for number two on the roster, but Neuheisel has been around the Jim Mora-lead team long enough to know what is expected and with that he has flourished.
Make no mistake, UCLA will have everyone of their quarterbacks game ready in the 2014-15 season, no matter who is named #1, #2 or #3. What this does for the UCLA back-up quarterback battle is create great competition. Mora needs everyone on his team ready and there should be no doubt that the QB to inherit the offense after Hundley is gone, will be ready to step in to the spotlight and handle they team seamlessly.