UCLA Football: How will Wilton Speight fit into Chip Kelly’s system?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 30: Wilton Speight /
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How will Wilton Speight fit into Chip Kelly’s system? (cont.)

For more in-depth information on Speight, I talked with Matthew Bartlett, co-site expert for FanSided’s Michigan site, GBMWolverine.com, “Speight is a pocket passer with the ability to allude sacks and complete passes down the field. He scrambles when there is no better option.”

To simplify Speight’s game (which does not totally do the young man justice), he is a pro-style pocket passer. He has a strong arm, he can elude the pass rush and, if needed, can scramble out of the pocket when a play breaks down. At Michigan, Speight rarely spent time outside the tackles and was not prone to optioning the ball, two things that Kelly’s QBs have to get comfortable with. So how will this experiment work in Westwood?

Speight’s Career Stats

  • Completions: 257
  • Attempts: 437
  • Comp. Percentage: 58.8
  • Yards: 3,192
  • Yards per Completion: 7.2
  • Touchdowns: 22
  • Interceptions: 10
  • QB Rating: 132.2

Bartlett continued, “It’s definitely not ideal to switch from pro-style to spread-option. He took a majority of his snaps from under center and mostly threw from the pocket. You won’t see him throwing on the run all that much. I personally don’t think Speight could run that offense at a more efficient level than the rest of the QBs on UCLA’s roster. For that offense I want a quick athlete. If Kelly can shape the offense around Speight’s skill set, he may be successful. I can’t imagine Speight being faster than any quarterback on the roster either.”

It is a hard truth, but just because he does not fit the system, does not mean that it cannot be done. Speight is definitely coming to Westwood this fall, so I cannot imagine him wasting his last season of eligibility, which means he has to adapt. So what can we expect with him officially at UCLA playing quarterback?