UCLA Football: Hundley Gets High-Powered Help

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Mazzone digs into his rolodex to help Hundley make it to the top.

Jeff Garcia, Philip Rivers, Tim Tebow and Brock Osweiler.

That's who Noel Mazzone brought in to mentor Hundley according to this Sports Illustrated article. The goal: make Hundley a top five pick as well as better lead the Bruins.

Hundley spent time with each quarterback, watching film, taking notes and asking questions. He picked the brains of four quarterbacks who have experienced varying levels of collegiate and pro success with the goal of learning how to better lead his Bruins team.

Osweiller advised him to relax:

"Their coaches at Denver tell them to go be normal," Hundley said, referring to an order from Broncos coaches to occasionally decompress in the offseason. "How ... do ... you ... do ... that?" Hundley remembered asking Osweiler. Osweiler gave the example of reducing one daily workout to a foam roller stretch routine and then playing a round of golf, a sport Hundley recently took up.

The idea seemed so foreign to Hundley. In high school, he used to rise before dawn to run with his father, even though he had football workouts scheduled later in the day. He wants everything immediately, and if he can't get it, he assumes that he should be doing more. Hundley can't stand not knowing. He doesn't even want to start catching up on Breaking Bad because he fears he'll feel the need to binge-watch all the way to the end. Hundley attempted to follow Osweiler's advice, especially on a three-day trip to Jamaica for spring break. Unfortunately, he couldn't be normal for long. "I tried," he said, laughing. "Didn't work."

Once upon a time, Coach Mora vetoed a player vote to make Hundley a captain as a redshirt freshman. That changed toward the end of last year as the team injuries mounted:

The confidence with which Hundley closed last season has carried into the spring. On the advice of Garcia, Rivers, Tebow and Osweiler, he has tried to marry that confidence with consistent performance in practice and in meetings. "It's really just about being yourself, leading the team. Being the guy that everybody can look up to," Hundley said. "Staying consistent is really key. That's the thing I'm really trying to focus on this spring -- being the same guy each and every day."

Mora, who once declared Hundley wasn't ready to be a captain, is now happy to let him lead. "When he goes out on the field, he's the best player out there," Mora said. "So they see the work ethic and they see the results. Now, he's earned the authority to hold people to his standard. That's when leadership really occurs. As much as people want to say the leaders are the vocal guys, the leaders are the demonstrators. The leaders are the ones they can count on, that they can trust."

I suspect our Mr. Hundley is will be getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media in the run-up to next season.

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