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UCLA Football Notes: Hype Continues to Build Around the Bruins for a Great 2013 Season

News and notes from UCLA football program.

Stephen Dunn

Happy Sunday everyone. The Bruins went out to the Rose Bowl yesterday for their first walk-through yesterday. When I checked in Twitter last night, I didn't see much except for this tweet - re-tweeted by Jim Mora and this one from UCLA football;

Coach Mora also tweeted out this cool pic of Brett Hundley:

Meanwhile, the hype for a strong season continues to build among the national writers and reporters. ICYMI Jon Wiliner of the San Jose Mercury News, who is one of the most seasoned reporters in the Pac-12 (and former UCLA beat writer for the Daily News) ranked Bruins at no. 13 in his pre-season ballot. And Bruce Feldman from reiterated his high-expectations by suggesting Bruins should win at least 9 games during the regular season and offered this nugget on Brett Hundley courtesy of Noel Mazzone:

The Bruins are my pick to win the Pac-12 South. I like what Jim Mora has done cranking up the intensity in Westwood. He and his staff have also upgraded the physicality of this program. UCLA always had talent, but now there are even more studs. Look at what the Bruins have at QB: they have a gifted, 225-pound dual-threat sophomore in Brett Hundley, who is also--and this may be his best asset of all--a great leader. I spoke to UCLA OC Noel Mazzone Friday night and he's really excited about Hundley's development. "He's gone from being an 'athlete' playing quarterback to being a quarterback that's an athlete," Mazzone said, adding that the young QB's now displaying a great sense for play-making in the pocket.

Hey, that sounds good to us. Speaking of freakish athletes, Chris Foster has a very cool profile on freshman sensation (at least during the pre-season training camp) Myles Jack:

[T]he most intriguing Bruins' freshman is Jack, who grew up pining to be a running back, then learned a basic fun fact.

"I enjoyed hitting more than getting hit," Jack said.

He'll get his chance.

It became clear during training camp that Jack needed to be on the field. A reminder came Thursday in practice, when Jack lined up one on one with a slot receiver, moved in sync with him, then intercepted the pass.

"Our offensive guys think he's a freak," said Coach Jim Mora.

It has led to other possibilities for Jack.

The "other possibilities" may include lining up to return kickoffs or perhaps getting some time in offense during goal-line situations (according to Mazzone). Either way, hopefully the coaches don't throw too much at him too fast because after all he is still just a freshman. In case you are wondering Jack wears number 30.

Can't wait to see him and rest of his team-mates out at the Rose Bowl next Saturday. 6 more days to go.