Now that Spring Practice has come and gone, it is time to take a deeper look at UCLA football as we head into the long summer before the 2015 season. Go Joe Bruin will be analyzing every position group over off-season to paint you a picture of the possibilities we could see in the fall. We will first start with a look at the quarterbacks and the four-way battle they have for the starting position.
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
Brett Hundley is gone and there is nothing we can do about that. So it is a really good thing that the Bruins have four quarterbacks that have the potential to lead this team in the eyes of head coach Jim Mora.
Last week, Mora was on Los Angeles radio station AM 570 LA Sports and he reiterated the fact that there has been no decision on the starting quarterback. Mora stated,
"It is just not time. We have not seen enough and I like the direction we are headed and we will get there when we get there."
Mora may not know (or tell) who the starting quarterback is, but we have seen each one individually and though they each have their strengths, when you look at the product on the field, it seems Rosen has the advantage. He is smart, focused and has soaked in the offense like a sponge. Add to that his freakish command of the quarterback role and you have the makings of a solid college QB.
But let us not get ahead of ourselves, especially when UCLA football has three other players that have not only improved, but have shown they can lead this team.
Aside from taking over and beating Texas at AT&T Stadium last year after Hundley went down with an injury, Jerry Neuheisel orchestrated a miraculous victory in Arlington. Yet in their game against Stanford, he looked unseasoned after entering the game after another Hundley injury.
This past Spring, Neuheisel has looked like he has improved in several areas of his game, including accuracy, faster reads and rolling out. The same could be said about Woulard who was praised through Spring by the coaches.
Woulard has had a tough time standing out for the Bruins, but looked like a different quarterback during the recent practices. He has improved his passing which will make him a viable threat when adding in his fantastic running ability.
Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Asiantii Woulard (2) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Fafaul, though Mora might not admit, could be the first Bruin QB cut from the list. Though he may be the odd man out, Fafaul has also showed improvement over the Spring, but it is clear that the other three have a step up in him. Though he may not get the job, he adds to the collective depth of talented Bruin QBs which is probably the most important take away from Spring.
Here is the point… no matter who the Bruin coaches choose to lead this team, they also have several back-ups to lead UCLA. The Bruins have so much talent at the quarterback spot that if one goes down, another will be ready to step in and take over. Though it could cause problems with depth, this is a good problem the Bruins have on their hands. Not many teams can say that.
Still, the fact that not one Bruin QB has stood out creates good competition and with that, who ever the Bruin starter is in the Fall will be ready and so will his back-ups.