Nov 8, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) passes against the Washington Huskies during the third quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
After finishing as the runners-up for its first few quarterback targets in the 2016 class, UCLA finally found its man at the most important position on the football field and it is 3-star dual-threat QB Matt Lynch (Broomfield, CO/Legacy).
Lynch, a former Colorado State commit and the son of two Colorado State alums, was someone who had drifted below the radar as a recruit because of his long-held commitment to the Rams and the perception that he would be unlikely to budge from CSU given his strong ties to the school. But when Jim McElwain bolted from Colorado Springs to Gainesville to take the Florida job, Lynch started to evaluate his own options (H/T Jack Wang). And when UCLA came calling and eventually extended Lynch an offer this afternoon on his visit out to Westwood, Lynch made the choice to commit on the spot to quarterback coach Taylor Mazzone and the Bruins.
For its part, UCLA has been searching far and wide for its 2016 QB ever since
made the stunning choice to commit to
over UCLA last month. Recently, the Bruins had seemed to narrow their options down to Lynch, who emerged onto the radar of UCLA football fans a couple weeks ago when Bruin Sports Report’s publisher Edward Lewis
, the 3-star QB from south Orange County who has impressed many on the local 7-on-7 scene this spring.
In the end, the tantalizing dual-threat skills that Lynch offers appealed more to Mazzone and led to Lynch becoming the choice for the UCLA staff. With his mobility, long strides as a runner, and unorthodox throwing motion, Lynch is a pure dual-threat quarterback who is reminiscent of 2015 5-star QB and Alabama commitment Blake Barnett from Corona, who UCLA was on early and offered before it turned all its focus in 2015 QB recruiting to Josh Rosen.
Lynch is definitely a project, as his throwing mechanics clearly demonstrate. This is a bit worrisome for UCLA fans because Taylor (and father/UCLA offensive coordinator Noel) Mazzone has had a sub-par track record to date in developing project quarterbacks with physical tools but poor quarterbacking fundamentals, like TJ Millweard, Asiantii Woulard, and Aaron Sharp, into viable UCLA-level quarterbacks.
As a result, the question lingers as to whether a boom-or-bust, high ceiling-but-low floor prospect like Lynch will reach his potential under their tutelage and become a worthy heir to Rosen when his time comes. But 6’5″ height, solid arm strength, and 4.7 40-yard-dash speed from the quarterback position cannot be taught, so time will tell whether Lynch can transform from the rawest piece of quarterback clay into a fully formed and refined Pac-12 quarterback capable of winning games for UCLA.
Welcome to Westwood, Matt!