Photo Credit: Scott Wu
Peter Yoon from ESPNLA reports that Brett Hundley may be "headed for a redshirt season":
Expectations for Hundley were sky-high when he graduated high school early and enrolled at UCLA in time to participate in spring practice, but he's shown his age and lack of experience this spring.
Hundley has not yet grasped the complexities of the college game, struggling with reads, formations and protections as he experienced the college game for the first time.
There is no doubt that he has a ton of natural talent. He throws a nice ball and his running ability has really opened some eyes this spring, but he's also relied a bit too heavily on that running ability by tucking and taking off when he can't immediately decipher what is happening around him.
Hundley will one day be the starting quarterback for UCLA, but this spring has shown that that he still needs a bit of seasoning. He will be behind Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince entering fall camp and it appears as though he's headed for a redshirt season.
This should not be a surprise. Expectations from some UCLA fans, frustrated after years of ineffective QBing have been sky high but around here we have tried to remain realistic.
We were badly burned by the expectations around Ben Olson. Richard Brehaut was a highly recruited QB hand-picked by Norm Chow when he came out of high school. Acclamating to a college game takes time. It is more challenging at a place like our program, where we haven't had a decent OL to protect our QB for years. So the news about Hundley possibly red-shirting should not be surprising.
The good news is that Hundley appears to be a very mature young man, who is "wise beyond his years":
Perhaps his biggest strength, though, is his calmness and ability to dissect things logically and avoid any panic. He's still a teenager trying to transition from high school to a BCS school, yet he's pretty even-keeled.
"Once you know your stuff, the speed is practically the same (as high school)," Hundley said. "It's when you don't know your stuff, the speed is really fast."
"He's come a long way," Neuheisel told FOX Sports West recently. "It's starting to slow down for him, but as he's trying to figure it out he's playing slow, so we got to get him quickened up and play at the speed he's capable so he can go fast; but he took a big step to me in that regard."
This 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback is serious about his role for the Bruins. And very cerebral. He knows there's a lot of angst and frustration in the bleachers.
"I try not to look at the pressure that certain people put on me," Hundley said. "My dad always tells me, I'm only 17 years old. I'm one of the youngest kids here. I was one of the youngest kids on my high school team."
He should take his time. Last thing Hundley and UCLA need is for him to get out there early and get his confidence shot. My preference would be to keep developing Richard Brehaut as the starter heading into this camp, work Prince in as a backup and only use Hundley as an emergency option for next season. May be Rick Neuheisel will not have the luxury to redshirt Hundley next season as he is on hot seat, but that would be the right strategic approach for his fourth season in Westwood.