I think Brett Hundley has a chance to achieve a level of excellence at U.C.L.A. that he might never reach in the NFL.
No disrespect to Hundley, but we would be a favorite for the Pac-12 championship and make a run for the national championship if he stayed.
On the other hand, there's no telling how good his supporting cast would be in the NFL. He could get drafted by some perennial middle-of-the-pack team and never make it past the first or second round of the playoffs in his entire career. And there'd be a good chance that as quarterback, he'd be the scapegoat for the whole team's mediocrity.
Why take that risk?
Besides, if he led the Bruins to their first national championship in football in 58 years, it would be difficult to scapegoat him later if his team underperformed. To say nothing of the respect he'd have from his NFL teammates.
No, a conference championship is definitely within his reach next year. And with a four-team playoff, a national championship might be, too. But a Super Bowl championship might never be.
Then there's the notion of enjoying the moment. Winning a game with fellow professionals in a professional league—a business, after all—is never going to be as much of a moment of pure joy as winning a game with your classmates. When the opportunity to do that is gone, it's gone forever.
It's a question of pocketing the happiness now or leaving it on the table in exchange for money and a chance of happiness at some unknown point in the future.
Brett Hundley is a smart guy and it would make no sense for him to deprive himself of a shot at a championship or to deprive himself of the joy of defeating Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl next year. He might have the tools and the maturity for the NFL now, but I think he's going to make a quality of life decision and come back for another year.