UCLA Football: Everything You Need to Know About Brett Hundley
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterback Brett Hundley is an individual who will take the UCLA Football program to new heights.
The talented signal-caller from Chandler, Ariz. was a revelation during his freshman campaign a season ago. His overall amount of production lends credence to the notion that he very well could be the best quarterback to play at UCLA since Cade McNown.
Casual college football fans outside of the West Coast might not know Hundley very well. For those who don't, here's a profile on the Bruins' rising quarterback.
Who He Is
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Path to Stardom
Per Scout.com, Hundley was a 5-star prospect out of Chandler High School in Chandler, Ariz. Hundley threw for 2,348 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior. He was also named an Under Armour All-American.
Hundley was recruited by previous head coach Rick Neuheisel. He was in large part targeted by Neuheisel in order to run the pistol offense. Hundley ultimately redshirted as a freshman due to a minor knee surgery.
Hundley's rapport with eventual offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone proved to be a positive one. The quarterback threw for 3,745 yards and 29 touchdowns in his first year on the field.
As a redshirt freshman, Hundley shattered multiple school records. He established new highs for single-season completions, single-season passing yardage and single-season total offense.
Most importantly for UCLA fans, Hundley led the Bruins to a victory over Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.
What I Love About Him
There's a lot to like about Hundley as a player.
Hundley's physical stature is impressive. At 6'3", 222 pounds, he's a load to bring down in the open field. Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports tweeted that Hundley has lowered his body fat to 8 percent. It should help in improving his overall speed.
Per the video above, Hundley is incredibly poised for such a young quarterback. He's very adept at putting the requisite touch needed for completions. Prominently displayed against Southern Cal, Hundley was clinical in exploiting pockets of space on the field.
Hundley displayed the ability to be incredibly accurate last season as a redshirt freshman. The quarterback completed passes at a 66.6 percent clip in 2012.
There's no questioning Hundley's leadership qualities. He was elected by the team to be a captain last season—as a redshirt freshman. Jim Mora ultimately vetoed that decision from the standpoint that Hundley had not yet competed on the collegiate level.
This offseason, Hundley was unsurprisingly picked as one of the captains. He also has been very vocal in embracing a leadership role. He was outspoken in his preference for stipends awarding to college athletes.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
There are five games in the 2013 schedule that should be construed as key affairs. Four of those contests will take place away from the Rose Bowl.
Nebraska will be the first real test of the season for Hundley and the Bruins. Traveling to Lincoln amidst a sea of red will be no easy proposition. Both the Cornhuskers and the Bruins should be ranked when the game is played during the third week of the season.
It gives Hundley an opportunity to get a big win on the road against a ranked non-conference foe.
UCLA has back-to-back contests against Stanford and Oregon—both on the road. The game against the Cardinal in Palo Alto offers a shot at revenge for the Hundley. Stanford defeated the Bruins twice last season, including in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
The contest at Oregon provides Hundley with a chance to enhance his prospects as a known commodity across the country. A win in either contest—or even a strong showing—could catapult Hundley into the national discussion for postseason honors.
Facing off against Arizona State at the Rose Bowl will be a great test. The Sun Devils could be UCLA's stiffest competition for a Pac-12 South Division Title. It figures to be a close contest, considering that the last two games between the teams have been decided by a total of three points.
Lastly, the contest at the end of the season against Southern Cal will be a big game. The Trojans also figure to be prominent in the South. It will be the first time Hundley gets to play in the vaunted Coliseum.
What Others Are Saying About Him
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Here's what the people are saying about Brett Hundley...
Jim Mora reveals in this interview that "Brett has all of the tools to be a great player. He's extremely bright and motivated, and is a great leader with a great work ethic. He has everything you need to be a great football player at this level and the next."
ESPN analyst Todd McShay recently rated the top quarterback prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft. McShay had Hundley rated as the second-best prospect on the board. Since Hundley is a redshirt sophomore, he theoretically could leave for the NFL after this season.
Renowned quarterback guru Steve Clarkson also had some complementary things to say about Hundley: "He has every element you want in a quarterback in terms of size, strength, ability to throw on the move, ability to stay in the pocket. He's got the total package."
In this Sports Illustrated profile on Hundley, tailback Paul Perkins mentioned that Hundley "is the film room on Saturdays, Sundays, Friday nights, before practice and after practice. He's preparing to be great."
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Hundley should have improved numbers from a throwing standpoint.
There's no Johnathan Franklin to rely upon in the run game. While the stable of backs should be serviceable, the majority of UCLA's success offensively should stem from the passing game.
Additionally, the wide receiver group should be improved from a season ago. Devin Fuller should be a nightmare to defend against in the slot. Devin Lucien and Shaq Evans are options to exploit the field vertically, while Jordan Payton catches seemingly everything in sight.
Those targets will give Hundley multiple options all over the field.
With that said, here are predictions from a statistics and awards perspective for Hundley in 2013:
Passing Yards: 4,124
Rushing Yards: 523
Awards: second-team All-Pac-12 selection