"Redshirting is not a problem" for Brett Hundley. Photo Credit: Scott Wu
Last week we had a robust discussion over a post about Brett Hundley possibly heading towards a red shirt season. The QB issue is going to be an ever green topic among us until UCLA finally finds the true successor to Cade McNown. The great season Drew Olson pulled off in his senior year was nice but it did not include a victory over USC. Are we finally going to get some answers in Rick Neuheisel's fourth season at UCLA? The answer not too shockingly is still unclear as the quarterback issue remains in limbo heading into summer camp.
ESPNLA wrote about it in their post spring wrap-up with the following scoop from Mr. Hundley himself:
"Redshirting is not a problem to me," Hundley said. "If I have to, I have to."
The other option, if he does not win the starting job, would be to try to gradually get him game experience by giving him a drive here and a drive there throughout the season. Asked if he'd prefer that over redshirting, Hundley said he would have more information.
"We'd have to talk with the coaches and see what the role would be and stuff like that," he said.
The ESPNLA post - presumably written by Peter Yoon - speculates Kevin Prince to be the "front runner" for the starting job:
Brehaut showed this spring that he has better command of the offense, but still lags in his ability to execute. He's still missing throws--overthrowing and underthrowing more often than the Bruins offensive braintrust would like. And the ball comes out of his hand wobbly far more than it should.
Hundley, the highly-touted recruit who is the quarterback of the future, has too many thoughts swimming around in his head at the line of scrimmage and can't quite read a defense well enough to be considered a realistic opening day starter at this point. Crissman is a surprise entry into the competition, but he has missed two full seasons because of shoulder injuries.
That probably leaves Prince as the frontrunner even though he missed most of spring practice, but he'll have to prove he hasn't lost a step after missing more than six months after surgery.
The note about Crissman being a "surprise entry" and working his way "into the mix" in "full health" is interesting too. Crissman emerging as a starter is as likely as Pete Carroll operating under ethical circumstances. But if Nick can provide a legitimate insurance policy as the third string QB instead of the horror show we were subjected to Seattle last year courtesy of Darius Bell, it could indeed open the door for a redshirt season for Mr. Hundley.
There is also a cynical angle to all of this. It has to do with "survival."
Imagine this scenario:
UCLA starts the season on a terrible to mediocre note with record ranging from 1-4 to 2-3 with Kevin Prince/Richard Brehaut as the starters. Brett Hundley comes in, starts the Washington State game and gets a much needed win to inject some life into the team. What do you think will buy Rick at least one more season?
A 7 win season with Brett Hundley leading rest of the way? or
A 7-8 win season still going back and forth with either Prince or Brehaut without a victory over SC?
If I were the AD, neither of those scenarios would buy Rick extra time but we have the elephant in the room ... aka the Dan Guerrero situation festering all over UCLA Athletics.
One would think Rick might consider the factor that getting 7 wins with a true freshman at QB could give him more room to argue for at least one more season. Something to think about ...
For now Brett Hundley is worried about senior prom:
And here was Richard Brehaut following spring ball talking about gaining "confidence" this spring: