At this time last year, the question on everyone's mind was "Who would be the starting quarterback?"
Well, this year, there's no doubt who that is. He's on this week's cover of Sports Illustrated, after all.
But, with the departure of Jerry Neuheisel to Japan, this year's quarterback question is "Who will back up Josh Rosen?" Let's take a look at this year's QBs.
In addition to Neuheisel, UCLA has also lost Jake Hall. At the same time, there are three freshmen quarterbacks who will battle Mike Fafaul to be Josh Rosen's backup. They are, in no particular order, Dymond Lee, Matt Lynch and Devon Modster. Now, this is where the state of UCLA recruiting could end up influencing the situation.
UCLA does not have an elite quarterback lined up for the 2017 recruiting class and that's a big deal. Why? Because Jim Mora could have redshirted that individual with intention of making him the starter in 2018 when Josh Rosen will probably be off to the NFL.
So, what does UCLA do with the three freshman?
If it's up to me, I think all three freshmen should get redshirted this year. Realistically, the only way anyone other than Rosen plays this year is if a. Coach Mora decides to give the backup some reps in the UNLV game to get them some experience...just...in...case, or b. the worst possible situation arises and...well...I'm not going to say it, but you know what the worst possible situation is.
So, more than likely, there won't be a need to use a freshman quarterback this year.
Meaning that plan should be to redshirt all three unless something bad happens.
Here's this year's QB roster:
Projected Depth Chart
So the question becomes "What does the projected depth chart look like?"
I guess, under ideal circumstances, it looks like this:
Oh, you wanted to know who was backing Josh Rosen up? All right. It looks like this:
I get it. You want to know who is the guy to replace Josh Rosen...when his helmet comes off and he has to leave the field for one play...Who is not the guy. Who's on first. Wait...wrong sport.
If I go with my gut, that's Mike Fafaul. The guy has put in the time behind Hundley, Rosen and even Jerry Neuheisel in Jerry's World a few years ago.
There's only one time that may change: If Josh Rosen is unable to be on the field for multiple plays.
But, even in that situation, I still think it will be Fafaul with one exception. That exception is if Rosen is unable to be on the field for multiple plays at the start of a game. For our readers who may happen to go to Southern Cal, that means that Rosen probably hasn't practiced all week either. And, if you can't figure out why Josh Rosen might not practice any given week, I'm not going to tell you. Phone a friend. Alright, alright. I'll give the Trogens a hint. It rhymes with "SI Purse".
In that case, and that case only, I think Jim Mora burns Devon Modster's redshirt and goes with him.
But, we all know that it's NEVER going to come to that.
And, with that, we conclude Bruins Nation's 2016 UCLA Football Fall Preview. I hope you've enjoyed it.