Nov 9, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) runs the ball for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Hundley: Ready for a Heisman Season?

There comes a time in every young quarterback’s life when he hoists the Heisman trophy above his head, arms shaking in excitement and a smile that runs off his face. Then, every quarterback wakes up, puts on their vans and skinny jeans, and goes to school. When the clock hits three, they’re off to practice with the rest of their middle school buddies, and they can’t wait. Luckily for them, that’s only a quarter of an hour away; you can be certain that’s right as they just finished the math section on fractions.

As the years go by, some find other hobbies, some get Division I scholarships, and others walk on to teams like Middle Tennessee State. A select few, however, are still holding on to that middle school dream — and Brett Hundley is one of them. After his second season taking snaps for the UCLA Bruins, Hundley turned his back on high draft stock and loads of money to return for a third collegiate season and watch his dream become a reality. Though not everyone’s top pick to win the ever-so-meaningful trophy, those with an understanding of college football have him in the hunt.

Of the quarterbacks in contention this pre-season — which, mind you, it is just the preseason — it comes down to Hundley, Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), and Jameis Winston (Florida State). Hundley is going to be up against some staggering numbers and feats which include a 40-touchdown season, a 4,000-yard season, 1068-yards rushing (as a quarterback), and to top it all off, an already claimed Heisman Trophy for Jameis Winston. In other words: It wont be easy for Hundley to take the throne as the nations best football player — but that’s exactly what his life has prepared him for.

“Overcoming Adversity” might as well be Hundley’s middle name. While his story might not be the heartwarming “Blind Side” style movie that we all want to see, Hundley has shown that he can, and will, persevere. Brett has a sister named Paris, whose struggle with epilepsy has motivated Brett to not only become a face for supporting the cause, but also inspired him to take his game to the next level. Hundley says, “I wan’t to make sure I can at least do my best and show her that she’s not out there physically, but emotionally and mentally, she’s always there.” His close relationship with his older sister has been just one factor in Hundley’s perseverance.

In his freshman season at UCLA, Brett Hundley tore the meniscus in his right knee playing basketball. He missed the opportunity to compete for the starting job and the Bruins struggled mightily that year. Nonetheless, his perseverance, tenacity, and natural talent led Brett to the next level. In the next season, Hundley immediately beat out the older quarterbacks and took over at UCLA. In his first season in charge, the Bruins went nine and five, but nine and three in the regular season. In his second season, the Bruins went 10 and three, winning the Hyundai Sun Bowl against Virginia Tech. His outstanding performance in the Sun Bowl led many UCLA fans prepare for “life after Hundley”, assuming he would declare for the NFL draft. Many were discouraged, and even more were worried, but then Brett Hundley rocked the college football world and announced that he would be returning to UCLA for his redshirt junior season.

It should now be clear that Hundley is ready to take on everything and anything if it means getting to accomplish his goals, and you can bet those goals include returning UCLA to greatness and hoisting that Heisman Trophy above his head. What was once a middle school dream is rapidly becoming a reality, and Hundley is ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

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