UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has the talent to play in the NFL, but the redshirt sophomore Bruins signal-caller will stay in school for at least another year.
Edward Lewis of Rivals.com provided a synopsis of Hundley announcing his decision:
#UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has announced he'll stay at UCLA another year.— Edward Lewis (@EdwardLewisBSR) January 6, 2014
Brett Hundley said his NFL Draft evaluation was between second and fourth round, with a possibility of the first.— Edward Lewis (@EdwardLewisBSR) January 6, 2014
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported on Jan. 5 that Hundley is expected to announce his decision this week to remain in college for his junior season and forgo the 2014 draft:
UCLA QB Brett Hundley, viewed as a potential top-10 pick, plans to return to school for senior season, per sources. Announcement this week.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2014
Hundley is one of several talented quarterbacks who have turned down the promise of going pro, joining the notable likes of Baylor's Bryce Petty and Oregon's Marcus Mariota, among others.
While there was some logic to his peers' decisions to return, Hundley's choice comes as a bit of a surprise. At 6'3" and 222 pounds with a big arm and awesome athleticism, NFL franchises desperate for an answer under center would have been hard-pressed to pass up on Hundley despite the fact that he's still rather raw.
Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller confirmed Schefter's assertion that Hundley is a top-10-caliber pick within the context of this year's QB class and the signal-caller's skill set:
I don’t view Brett Hundley (UCLA) as pro-ready, but his upside and existing talent are top 10 caliber in this year’s class.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) December 30, 2013
The boundless potential Hundley possesses was on full display when he threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns while running for 161 more yards and two additional scores in the Bruins' 42-12 victory over Virginia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
Did Brett Hundley make the right decision to stay at UCLA?
After that virtuoso performance on Dec. 31, the 20-year-old indicated he was uncertain about whether he'd declare for the draft, per Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith.
"I’m going to sit down and talk to the right people and I’ll make [a decision] from there," said Hundley.
In his final six starts of 2013, Hundley accounted for 17 total touchdowns and threw just one interception, demonstrating that his decision making is progressing.
With another year to sharpen his skills at UCLA, it seems the sky is the limit for Hundley and his NFL future. Rushing into the pros can be a mistake, and the Bruins have to be pleased that their star QB is returning for what could be a Heisman-caliber 2014 season.