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After a season in which he became just the first freshman quarterback in school history to win a season-opener and only the second Bruin to post a set of 300-passing yard games, UCLA's Kevin Prince is primed for a second straight season as the starter under center.
During that 2009 campaign the pride of Crespi High School led the Bruins to a 7-6 record -- their finest finish in the last four seasons -- despite battling a fractured jaw, concussion and separated shoulder.
Still, the current redshirt sophomore is not in the least content with last season's success.
"Last year is out the window," Prince said after UCLA's first spring session on April 1. "It's time to move on."
Just before the Bruins moved on to spring practice, head coach Rick Neuheisel crowned Prince the clear-cut starting quarterback, marking the first time since 2006 that UCLA has forfeited a true quarterback competition entering the spring.
"I'm just hopeful that he can be everything we need him to be with respect to the full complement as a quarterback -- the leader, the guy who creates plays, the guy who pulls you out of the fire, the guy who throws everything with anticipation [and] accuracy -- all the different intangibles that you look for in a quarterback," Neuheisel said of Prince. "He's got all those assets."
In the offseason Prince focused on enlarging his leadership role by organizing seven-on-seven scrimmages and working one-on-one with receivers in order to improve chemistry and timing. He also upped his weight by more than 10 pounds following a request from the coaching staff to reach the 230-pound threshold.
"He's really worked to make himself a physical presence," Neuheisel said.
However, neither Prince nor Neuheisel are excluding sophomore second-stringer Richard Brehaut, who saw limited action in 2009.
"There's still competition," Prince said. "Coaches always make that clear that nobody's job is guaranteed, so I still have to keep on competing."
Added the third-year Bruin head coach, "[Brehaut] needs to take that [quarterback competition] challenge [and] that little experience that he garnered a year ago and make that be beneficial for him so that he can prove that he can really play at this level, which I know he can."
Even so, Kevin Prince is poised to remain the king of UCLA quarterbacks.
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