Who will be the next starting quarterback for UCLA football? I could tell you, but it would only be speculation. You see, the Bruin coaches who may or may not know themselves, are not going to reveal who the starting quarterback is to anyone, anytime in the near future. It is just not going to happen.
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Heck, we might not even know until ten minutes before kick-off against Virginia on September 5.
And why should the coaches tell us before then? Head coach Jim Mora and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone have one hell of a decision on their hands. UCLA has become a national figure in the last three years Mora and Mazzone have been in Westwood and that is no coincidence. People must realize that there are some excellent coaches running the Bruins. Still, this is one epic decision for them.
What Mora and Mazzone have done with the offense is phenomenal. But there is one thing they do not have this Spring Practice… Brett Hundley.
Nov 22, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Southern California Trojans during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
That is right, Brett freaking Hundley. Amazing. How do you fill that void? How do you replace someone that has recently solidified his greatness in UCLA football history? You can’t, but you can sure as hell try.
Sep 26, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; St. John Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Bishop Gorman Gaels at Fertitta Field. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Right now, the race to replace Hundley is between Mike Fafaul, Jerry Neuheisel, Asiantii Woulard and Josh Rosen. It is a four-way battle for a chance to lead the Bruin offense this fall. Though there are several players ready to step up and take over, what UCLA fans do not realize is what this means for the Bruins in the long run.
With one of these players taking the reins in the fall, UCLA will also have three very good back-up QBs that could jump in at a moments notice.
Ladies and gentlemen, UCLA is deep at quarterback.
That is great, but it still does not bring us any closer to finding out who will be the starting quarterback. But if you think about it, maybe UCLA does not want to pick one now. In the latest episode of The What’s Bruin Show podcast, host and Go Joe Bruin writer Jake Merrifield weighed in on the situation.
“There is no advantage to naming a starter. I am sure the coaches have their ideas about who it is going to be and every one kind of agrees, almost certainly, its almost inconceivable that it is not going to be Rosen. But at the same time, they have to go through this charade in order to let Rosen earn his street cred.”
Though that seems favorable to Rosen, Merrifield continues by saying, “To say, ‘Rosen you are the starter right now’ based on ten Spring Practices doesn’t make any sense. Why should you name him the starter? Right? I mean, just because he looks better than the other guys for two weeks of practice? I think it is too early to make that call, especially for a true freshman.”
Whether or not Rosen is the chosen one is yet to be seen. This is only his first four weeks of college football. Just wait until he gets to San Bernardino in the fall. Rosen, just as the other three quarterbacks know, has to understand that the college game is a lot different.
At the same time, we do not know if the coaches are leaning more toward the experience that Neuheisel, Woulard and Fafaul bring. All three have been immersed in the Bruin offense for the last three years and know what to expect from Mora and Mazzone. Aside from natural athleticism, that knowledge of UCLA’s system goes a long way in trying to run the Bruin’s up-tempo offense.
I know you want to know the future of the Bruins, but it will just have to wait. It will be a long summer, but rest easy in the fact that the future is very bright at QB for UCLA, OK? trust us me, it will be great.