Culver City Observer -

Hundley Is Gone, Can Rosen Be UCLA's Next Savior?

 

August 20, 2015



By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

When Brett Hundley enrolled at UCLA three football seasons ago he was walking on campus when a coed called out “here comes the savior.”

The incoming freshman seemed humbled as he said “I’m not the savior. I’m just trying to find my way here.”

In three seasons, however, Hundley did appear to be a savior. In each season UCLA beat USC, reversing a trend that lasted a decade.

Hundley then said he had accomplished what he could in Westwood and entered the NFL draft a year earlier than was necessary. He hoped to be a first or second round draft choice but lasted until the fifth round, where he was chosen by the Green Bay Packers.

While Hundley backs up Aaron Rodgers this season another potential “savior” will try to lead the Bruins as a freshman.

Josh Rosen is similarly a heralded quarterback recruit and may be good enough to beat out three-year UCLA veteran Jerry Neuheisel and Asiantti Woulard for the starting job. As of now, Coach Jim Mora hasn’t named a starter.

Neuheisel, the son of former Bruin quarterback and coach Rick Neuheisel, hasn’t had the savior tag but has progressed in the program and had one grand moment last season when Hundley was injured and Neuheisel guided UCLA to a victory over Texas.

UCLA has become nationally prominent since Mora Jr. took over as head coach three years ago. Maybe he was the real savior.

UCLA was 10-3 each of the last two seasons and is being picked to finish third in the Pac 12 South this season behind USC and Arizona State.

But the Bruins might do better than that. Among the returnees is Paul Perkins, who led the Pac 12 in rushing last season.

Also coming back is Myles Jack, who moves from outside linebacker to the middle so opponents can’t keep their running attack away from him.

Jack is so talented that he carries the ball on occasion.

Hundley was a high school star in Arizona and ranked high nationally. Rosen passed for more than 8,400 yards and 100 touchdowns at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower and also ranked in the top five nationally.

After he made a verbal (non-binding) commitment to UCLA Jim Harbaugh was named head coach at Michigan and made a run at Rosen.

But Rosen honored his commitment to UCLA.

In pre-season practices Rosen has displayed the strong arm scouts knew about but also has gained college level confidence.

He recently told receivers he had learned enough of the offense that they could ask him questions rather than the coaches.

UCLA will open its season by hosting Virginia on Sept. 5 at the Rose Bowl and will conclude the regular season against USC on Nov. 28 at the Coliseum.

I thoroughly enjoy college football and I’m happy another season is upon us.

 

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