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UCLA Football: Quarterbacks in the Spotlight

Today’s post-practice interviews featured two individuals who have a pretty good shot at the starting job this fall—Matt Lynch and Devon Modster.

The UCLA quarterbacks, wearing the red jerseys, throwing passes during Spring Practice on Tuesday.
Joe Piechowski

We’re definitely in a football drought right now, but Spring Football is in full swing! The UCLA Bruins held another practice this morning at 7:15 am.

After practice, the media interviewed Matt Lynch and Devon Modster, both of whom we saw last year when Josh Rosen was injured. Modster is credited with coming into UCLA’s final regular season game last year at halftime and brought home the win that clinched bowl eligibility at the 11th hour. He threw for a career-high 295 yards on 21-of-34 passing in UCLA’s loss to Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl.

Of course, the team knew before the offseason that they were going to have an entirely new coaching staff to impress and the media asked these guys what changed before Spring ball in order to prepare for the field of competition. Lynch said he worked a lot on his throwing motion and has improved his poise in the pocket. He has stayed in touch with Rosen since they were roommates and they communicate almost daily.

Rosen’s absence has definitely been felt by all, as Modster reported that not having Josh is different—Rosen is competitive and smart, and you can tell he isn’t there.

Lynch stated:

It’s a new start, a fresh start for everyone. A whole new coaching staff, so you just kind of had to settle down, focus on the details and build back up from there and just try to do whatever you can possible. Everything is an evaluation, so you try to do anything possible to catch his eye.

There will, of course, be competition with K.J. Carta-Samuels and Dorian Thompson-Robinson, neither of whom are on campus yet. Both Lynch and Modster basically said that the competition is open and the best man will be given the job. One thing I know for certain — we won’t have a situation where the oldest guy gets to start even if he isn’t the most qualified, which has killed us in the past. I think we can all go to sleep at night knowing head coach Chip Kelly is going to pick the most deserving player to lead this team.

According to Thuc Nhi Nguyen at the LA Daily News, there were five receivers taking reps today, but only four quarterbacks at practice, so Kelly himself stepped in to fill the gap. Lynch reported good chemistry with Demetric Felton, Christian Pabico, Damian Alloway, and Theo Howard. This entire group along with Modster all worked on their own in the offseason.

This is UCLA’s fourth offense in four years and both quarterbacks are working to get this one nailed down before the rest of the quarterbacks arrive. According to Lynch, “Once you learn two in two years, it’s easy to learn another one. This one is very organized”.

One thing that the players seem to be responding well to is Kelly’s sports science approach. Everything they do including sleeping and eating is monitored and they are even given meals to take home so they can eat properly on the weekends (fancy that).

Here is the full video of Modster and Lynch, thanks to UCLA Athletics on YouTube:

UCLA will hold Practice #3 this Saturday, March 10th at 10:00 am. If you plan on heading out to Westwood to watch practice, be sure to join us at the Bruins Nation Spring Saturday Breakfast Meetup, which is back for its sixth year.

Go Bruins!