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Monday, August 18, 2008
UCLA: It's Craft at QB

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

As expected, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel named junior Kevin Craft the Bruins' starting quarterback for the opener against Tennessee on Sept. 1 in the Rose Bowl.

"He's earned it with his consistent play and he has the best mastery of the offense at this point," Neuheisel told reporters after practice.

Craft, a transfer from Mt. San Antonio Junior College, beat out redshirt freshman Chris Forcier. Craft started his career at San Diego State and in 2006, as a redshirt freshman, he played in nine games started five for the Aztecs. He completed 69 of 121 passes that season for 737 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions.

Craft is the Bruins' third option. During spring practices, shortly after being designated as No. 1 on the depth chart, Patrick Cowan suffered a season-ending knee injury. Ben Olson, the former starter and No. 2 on the depth chart, hurt his foot during the same practice but was cleared to play before preseason camp began. Olson then re-injured the foot and will be out until at least mid-October.

This from the school:

Craft would become the first Bruin quarterback to start a season-opening contest in his initial season following a transfer since Troy Aikman, who came to UCLA from Oklahoma, took the first snap in the 1987 opener against San Diego State (Aikman redshirted in 1986). He is also the first junior-college transfer to start a season-opening game in his initial season since Mark Harmon in 1972.