The Past, Present, And Future Of UCLA Quarterbacks, Part II: The Roller Coaster Of QB Recruiting

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Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Developmental Issues

Where the Mazzones have truly fallen short and lack circumstantial excuses is on the developmental side of things. Even stipulating that Woulard was the best talent out of the four quarterbacks taken from 2012 to 2014, he was still unable to even beat out the far less talented Jerry Neuheisel for the backup spot last season. When a player of Woulard’s unquestioned limitless physical gifts is lagging behind a player of Neuheisel’s unquestioned limited physical gifts, that signals a problem in coaching as much as an inherent lack of something in the player.

Furthermore, despite Noel and Taylor Mazzone’s pedigree in working with NFL quarterbacks, they have consistently shown too much confidence in their abilities to take raw quarterbacks — ones that are physically superlative but essentially need to learn the nuances and mechanics of the position — and mold them into finished products capable of leading UCLA to championships. To date, based on the progress of the quarterbacks fitting that bill (Millweard, Fuller, Woulard, Sharp, and even Hundley to an extent), this has not been a fruitful strategy for UCLA and is a key reason why the quarterback depth chart projects to be scarily thin for the next few seasons.

Part I is available here.