With Michigan graduate transfer Wilton Speight heading to Westwood, Go Joe Bruin examines how the pro-style quarterback will fit into UCLA football head coach Chip Kelly’s run-based spread offense.
Not only is UCLA football getting a transfer quarterback in former Michigan Wolverine Wilton Speight, but it looks like he has met the criteria needed to enroll in a UCLA graduate program, something that has limited the Bruins from receiving grad transfers in recently.
So with that out of the way, we now look at another hurdle the former Wolverine will have to face: meshing with UCLA’s new system.
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From an initial stand point, the transfer is a bit perplexing, simply because it seems like a contrast of styles as Speight has been running a power-based style under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan the last few seasons. That is quite different from Chip Kelly’s run-based spread offense that is looking to utilize the triple-option, the run-pass option and the zone read. But we will get into that in a second.
Let us first address the issue with depth. From an outsider’s standpoint, it seems that UCLA was doing fine with depth as Devon Modster, Matt Lynch and Austin Burton are currently in Westwood learning the ropes of Kelly’s new offense. The situation gets better this fall when freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson (a dual-threat QB that looks to be a perfect fit for Kelly’s system) joins the Bruins for camp.
The only problem is that between these four signal callers, there is a total of two starts and only six games of experience between them (those stats being owned mostly by Modster and Lynch).
Speight, despite suffering a season-ending injury four games into Michigan’s 2017 campaign, has a total of 16 starts in 23 games at a Power 5 Conference school. If Kelly is looking for experience, even for the one year Speight will play for UCLA, he brings more than any other Bruin. But now let us look at how Speight and Kelly can mesh, because at first glance, it doesn’t look like they would naturally fit.