There were six quarterback competitions in the Pac-12 this year. Some came about by the departure of some outstanding quarterbacks. Others just needed new life infused into the offense.
Today we're going to take a look at each of the quarterbacks who won their job.
We continue with UCLA, which had a four-way quarterback competition coming out of spring ball. Head coach Jim Mora had hoped to name his starter by the end of spring, but no one had separated themselves enough yet. But Brett Hundley emerged -- as most expected -- early on in camp and Mora saw no reason to delay his selection.
Brett Hundley, UCLA
2011 stats: N/A
Career stats: N/A
Pros: Youth and athleticism are on Hundley’s side. He only spent one season in the old pistol offense, and according to him, he’s flushed it all from his system (though that seems to be the feeling among all of the UCLA quarterbacks). He has the arm to make all of the throws in Noel Mazzone’s offense and has been a quick study. As he grows into the offense, you’ll see him make quicker decisions on when to cut and run (and he can run) and when to let it fly. Appears to be a very good, confident leader as well.
Cons: That same youth and athleticism might make it tougher for him to get acclimated so quickly. He’ll have to take some lumps early while learning to stay in the pocket, rather than just tucking and going after his first two reads. In UCLA’s new offense, there are four, sometimes five passing options. How quickly he learns to make those reads will go a long way toward determining his success in Year 1. Also, recent history hasn’t looked too kindly on UCLA's starting quarterbacks.
How he won the job: Most people considered Hundley the frontrunner coming out of spring ball. It was his to lose at the start of fall camp and according to the coaching staff, he came in prepared and was significantly better than the other three quarterbacks in the competition. The coaches also like his dual-threat ability.
Coach speak: "As we got into fall camp, it became apparent to us that Brett was the guy grabbing the reins," said UCLA head coach Jim Mora. "Brett has a unique style. He's a big, physical guy. He's close to 6-4, 225-pounds. He's got a good arm and he throws with accuracy ... Brett has shown to be a good decision-maker."
Backup plan: For all of Hundley’s youth, there is actually some good experience behind him with Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince. Brehaut has started 11 games and Prince has started 26. Mora said he hasn't officially settled on a backup, and if he has, he's not ready to announce it. Either way, he's not getting someone totally green to the college experience.