Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Brett Hundley package still unopened
By Peter Yoon
It's getting to be decision time on Brett Hundley.
The highly-touted freshman quarterback has not played through the UCLA's first three games and with Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut not exactly lighting it up at quarterback so far, Hundley's name has come up a lot.
Coach Rick Neuheisel said early in the season that he would have a package of plays for the athletic dual-threat quarterback, but his reps have been limited in practice after he fell to No. 3 on the depth chart following offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
Now, its a matter of Hundley getting command of the offense without the benefits of getting practice reps.
"There are still some things that happen in the course of practice that can tell you that he didn’t know we were hot on that guy or that he didn’t know that was the protection required here," Neuheisel said. "That’s not a knock on him. Most kids his age don’t."
Truth be told, Hundley hasn't looked all that sharp in the passing game in practice, with inaccurate throws hampering the few reps that he gets. You would expect he would improve with more reps, however.
And the thought of Hundley in a game is tantalizing. He's a 6-3, 210-pound athlete who was ranked the No. 6 high school quarterback in the nation last year. His senior year, he passed for 2,348 yards and 20 touchdowns and led his team in rushing with 856 yards. The year before he had 1,517 yard passing and 1,208 yards rushing.
"If there’s things he can do to help us and dimensionalize us as an offense then you have to consider that," Neuheisel said. "But you can’t consider it until he’s ready to play. He’s getting closer."
The equation is complicated by the fact thought of redshirting Hundley. It wouldn't make sense to use a year of eligibility if he is only ready to play a handful of plays per game. That's why Hundley says he doesn't mind sitting out this year if that's what Neuheisel decides.
"If I have a package, I have a package. If I redshirt, I’ll redshirt. If they call my number, I’m going to be ready," Hundley said. "I would imagine they wouldn’t throw me in there off the bench and say take the offense and run with it. I mean, I’m not opposed to that, but I understand that as coaches why they would want to do that. I can’t say how many plays I'd want my package to be, but hopefully it would be a nice amount. I wouldn't want to go in for just three or four plays a game."
Hundley said the waiting game is a bit difficult because the competitor in him wants to be on the field. But he's had experience with this before. In high school, Hundley said he didn't start until the third game of his junior year.
"Most people don’t know that," he said. "And once I did get in, stuff happened. So its sort of like the same situation. I just have to be ready for my opportunity and make something happen when it comes. I just hope its not the third game of my junior year."