Prince hampered by injury in final stretch of QB race

April, 28, 2012
4/28/12
6:55
PM PT
UCLA quarterback Kevin PrincePeter Yoon/ESPNLA.comKevin Prince has been dealing with a sore shoulder recently, which as put him behind in the QB race.

LOS ANGELES -- Quarterback Kevin Prince is dealing with a sore right shoulder that has hampered his performance over the past few practices, quarterbacks coach Noel Mazzone confirmed Saturday.

The injury is not thought to be serious, but Prince was severely limited Saturday, taking only about a half-dozen reps in live team drills while Brett Hundley and Richard Brehaut each got about two dozen.

"His shoulder is a little bit dinged up, but he’s fine," Mazzone said. "That’s why I backed off on him a little bit."

The sore shoulder has clearly hampered his performance. Over the last week, Prince appears to have fallen behind in the quarterback competition because of a series of bad throws and interceptions. He has lost velocity and accuracy on his throws and has been throwing with an awkward shotput type of motion.

Hundley and Brehaut both looked good Saturday, with Hundley consistently moving the chains during the team scrimmage sessions while Brehaut connected on several long touchdown passes. Mazzone said it's still too early to tell who's leading the race, but that the next week--including the spring game--will reveal a lot.

"It’s getting to the point now where they have run this offense enough and have done this enough that there’s no more excuses," he said. "Now I feel that they should have enough of this offense under their belt that they can go out on the field and compete against each other and perform."

He added that results are the only things that matter in the quarterback race. Prince and Brehaut have the experience, but Hundley has a wealth of untapped potential, but the winner of the quarterback position will be the guy who plays the best under the gun.

"At the end of the day, it’s who performs," Mazzone said. "I don’t care if one guy throws it harder or softer of farther or whatever. At the end of the day it's who can move the club and who gets us in the end zone and who performs. Potential means you haven’t done anything yet so I’m looking for performance."

The coaching staff has no timetable for picking a starter. Coach Jim Mora said the announcement will come after the staff has done all due diligence in selecting the quarterback they want.

"I’ll announce it when it’s appropriate to announce it," Mora said. "When it becomes apparent. When we’ve had a chance to sit down as a staff and talk about it and decide which we want to go and talk to all the players involved. Then we’ll make it known if there is something to be made known. Hopefully there is."

Peter Yoon

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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