Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Mora has an 'inkling' on quarterback
By Peter Yoon
Brett Hundley, above, seems to have the edge at quarterback for UCLA, but he has not been declared the starter.
SAN BERNARDINO -- UCLA doesn't officially have a starting quarterback, but it sure is starting to sound as if the Bruins do.
Coach Jim Mora said Tuesday he still has an inkling on who will start at quarterback but that he hasn't yet made a decision. He reiterated that he would do so on or before his self-imposed Aug. 16 deadline, but if any name other than Brett Hundley comes out of his mouth when the announcement is made, it would be a shocker.
Though there is no offical quarterback depth chart, Hundley seemed to take the lead over Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut toward the end of spring practice and continues to separate himself from the pack with impressive performances so far in training camp. It's difficult not to notice, even for a coach who is trying to keep the decision under wraps.
"He throws the ball well, he throws it with accuracy, he’s making good decisions and he’s got the X-factor which is his legs," Mora said after watching Hundley lead the offense to two touchdowns in the two-minute drill. "So often in those two-minute drills, things kind of break down. If you’ve got a quarterback that has some mobility and can keep his eyes downfield and remain a threat as a passer and hold the defense off, then that’s a real advantage."
The two-minute drill performance included a 51-yard touchdown pass to Darius Bell and a short touchdown toss to Johnathan Franklin. He also threw the ball out of bounds once when there was no play and seemed to be in control the entire time.
"Brett is just kind of unflappable," Mora said. "In that drill, I was trying to cause problems that he had to solve. If he makes a mistake, by the time he gets to the sideline he knows exactly how he should have handled the situation and he responds really well."
Mora would only go so far as saying that he has an 'inkling' about who the starter would be, which is an upgrade from the 'hunch' he had at the end of spring.
He said he's still evaluating "leadership, decision making, moving the team down the field. Throwing with accuracy, timing, mobility, extending plays. How the team reacts to different guys. Confidence level among the team members when that guy is on the field."
"Those are all really important things that you have to look at and every day we get a peek at that," he said. "We’re just trying to accumulate all the data so we make the best decision."
And when 'inkling' turns to 'decision'?
"I will be sure to let everyone know promptly," Mora said. "That’s a big question out there."