Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

UCLA football: QB Brett Hundley practices for the first time

August 22, 2011 |  8:36 pm

Freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, the guy who made UCLA football fans’ hearts go pity-pat when he chose the Bruins, went through team and individual drills for the first time on Monday.

Hundley, considered the centerpiece of the UCLA’s 2011 recruiting class, had been sidelined a month following knee surgery. There was a moment when being back sunk in.

“I got chewed out one time today and started laughing,” Hundley said. “It was like, ‘OK, I’m back.’ ”

Hundley was expected to make mistakes, having been on the sidelines. But the raw talent was obvious during 11-on-11 drills. He completed two of three passes in a brief stint with the first team.

“I was surprised to realize what I actually knew,” said Hundley, who was injured playing basketball in May and had surgery in July. “I learned from all those mental reps and from the opportunity to study a little more while I was out.”

Coach Rick Neuheisel was approaching Hundley’s return cautiously, saying, “We’ll try not to saturate him with work. We’ll see where he is a week from now.”

Hundley said that he is benefiting from graduating early from Chandler (Ariz.) High School so he could participate in spring practice.

“Without that, I would be in trouble,” Hundley said. “I know a lot of the protections and all the plays. Basically, I know it all. Now it’s about playing football now.”

How much football Hundley will play this season remains to be seen. His best opportunity at getting game time would seem to be in a limited role, with a package of plays.

“How extensive the package is depends on him,” Neuheisel said.

Neuheisel said that “we got to find out” how Hundley handles the position as a freshman. “We are going to get him going as fast as the trainers will let him get going,” he said.

Hundley is still working under restrictions, though those tend to leave his thoughts when opportunity arrives.

“Today, the trainers wanted me to take limited reps, so I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to,” Hundley said. “They didn’t want me running. But if opportunity was there, I was going to run.”

As for Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut, the Bruins’ top two quarterbacks, Neuheisel said, “It was not their best day, but it was a good day.”


UCLA turns to punter Jeff Locke to help solve kicking problems

UCLA football assistant coaches take a pay cut

T.J. Simers: No one cared for John Wooden like Tony Spino

Cory Harkey wants to be a complete tight end

-- Chris Foster

Photo: UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times