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UCLA football: Bruins QB Prince happy to still have Chow time

January 14, 2010 |  6:43 pm
Kevinprince_300 Kevin Prince, UCLA quarterback, was relieved to find offensive coordinator Norm Chow at the first day of off-season weightlifting Thursday.

Chow announced earlier in the day that he would remain at UCLA and not jump back to USC, where he was the offensive coordinator from 2001-04.

“It was great to see coach Chow there and he explained the whole deal, what was going on,” Prince said.

Prince, the Bruins’ No. 1 quarterback between injuries last season, has been mentored by Chow since arriving at UCLA. He won the job in the spring and inspired so much confidence that Chow joked they would be going to New York together for the Heisman Trophy ceremony in three years.

So when the news came that USC was interested in Chow, and when Chow remained silent about the situation, Prince was a little concerned.

“I started paying attention to television like I haven’t done before,” said Prince, who battled through a fractured jaw, concussion and shoulder injury this season. “It was a big deal to me. Coach Chow was a big reason I chose UCLA. I didn’t believe it at first. ESPN has a tendency to make things sound really official. He always told us he was going to be at UCLA for awhile.”

Prince and backup quarterback Richard Brehaut met with Coach Rick Neuheisel on Tuesday. Chow also called Prince.

On Thursday, Prince received the news from Neuheisel that Chow was staying.

“I think I’ve learned how much I value coach Chow,” Prince said. “I was going to miss working with him. We would still have Coach Neuheisel, but it would have been a big blow to lose coach Chow.”

Still, Prince said, “I was thinking about the fact that you shouldn’t choose a school because of a coach. There are a lot of reasons I chose UCLA because of school. I grew up here. My dad went here. But it’s hard when you’re a recruit not to like the coach and want to play for him.

“Coach Neuheisel and coach Chow are big reasons I came here. But coaching changes happen very quickly, as we saw this week with USC and then the possibility of coach Chow leaving.”

-- Chris Foster

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

Photo: Bruins quarterback Kevin Prince rolls out against Arizona State last season. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

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