We are continuing with our Bruins Nation 2012 spring football previews. We have had several installments so far which have looked at a program overview and Coach Mora and coordinators, position coaches here and here, and the defensive scheme. We have also looked at specific units on the field, including the defensive line, linebackers, special teams, defensive backs, offensive line, running backs and wide receivers.
Our final preview for UCLA Football going into spring practice, which begins today, is of the quarterbacks. Yet again, we are heading into the spring without a definitive starter, and a season where neither quarterback was able to set themselves apart from the pack (depending on who you speak with, of course, as many are squarely on Team Brehaut, Team Prince or Team Hundley.)
With the end of the Pistol (farewell and good riddance) Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone will be bringing his N-Zone Offense to Westwood. The former Offensive Coordinator at Arizona State, he tutored Brock Osweiler to a possible third round selection in the upcoming draft and is the QB guru to current NFL Quarterbacks. Will he be able to work his magic with our current crop of QBs?
The best news that has come from Jim Mora about the current QB situation is this:
There will be only ONE starting quarterback.
Mora indicated he will name the starting QB and stick to him, instead of QB roulette. The axiom goes, if you have more than one QB, you have no QBs. Mora will be using the spring to analyze the QBs in camp and make a decision by the end of the spring.
A quick glance at the QBs:
Kevin Prince: A senior in the fall and one of our two starting QBs the last two seasons, and the one who will receive the first snaps in spring practice, so in theory, he is currently the front runner. Last season, Prince started 10 games, passed for 1828 yards, 12 TDs and 8 interceptions but was cast aside by the fan base after his performance against Texas. After the pistol, one would assume Prince could easily pick up a spread type offense, but will he be able to throw the ball consistently? Will learning his third offense at UCLA be a detriment?
Richard Brehaut: Also a senior in the fall, he will be right behind Prince in terms of getting reps this spring. Brehaut has the better arm and is the QB many fans would rather see take the field for the Bruins this season. He started 4 games last season, throwing for 948 yards, 6 touchdowns and one interception. His injury last season paved the way for Prince to take over, but both will be fighting it out (again) to be named the starter. Brehaut will not be playing baseball during football season, and has stated time and again that his priority is football.
Brett Hundley: A redshirt freshman, Hundley should make a push this spring to be named the starter. A five star recruit, he was hampered from forcing the issue and possibly starting as a freshman when he tore his meniscus before fall practice started, and had issues learning the playbook.
TJ Millweard: A freshman who has enrolled and will participate in spring practice, he was a three star recruit according to rivals, and a four star according to ESPN, but has the size you desire in a QB at 6'4", 225 pounds. He comes from a pro-style system in TX, and apparently has the coaches in an absolute frenzy over him. He followed Mazzone from ASU and we are happy to have him in Westwood.
Jerry Neuheisel: A redshirt freshman in the fall, I don't know how Jerry will fit in the overall scheme. He appears to be happy at UCLA even after the dismissal of his father, and he was helping with the last minute recruiting push. I think he'll work mostly with the scout team this season.
Devin Fuller: A freshman arriving in the fall, Fuller is the #7 ranked athlete in his class. He will be behind the QBs that started spring practice, but Mora feels like he may get a chance, although it is more likely he will be redshirted.
As noted in our preview of the WRs, Darius Bell has moved from QB to WR. Also, Nick Crissman has graduated and will transfer. Crissman was hampered by injuries during his time in Westwood, but I cheered (and slightly teared up) when he finally saw some game action this past season. No one wore the headset on the sideline better than you, Crissman. (That's a compliment!) Here's to hoping his medical redshirt is granted and he will have two years of eligibility remaining.