Freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, continues to progress and is nearing a return to full-speed action, he said Thursday.
Hundley did some light jogging and throwing on the sideline Thursday during practice and did some drop-back throwing for the first time all training camp. He said he would do 50-yard shuttle runs Friday and that if all goes well, he will be back in a helmet and cleats on Monday.
"I’ll be back in the mix on Monday," Hundely said. "For the most part, it’s there. I’m pretty happy with the way it's recovered."
Hundley, a highly-touted, dual-threat quarterback, enrolled at UCLA in January so he could participate in spring football and try to compete for the starting job. He injured his knee in a pickup basketball game in June, however, and had surgery last month.
He will miss the fall scrimmage Saturday night, but said he's still not counting himself out of the quarterback competition, which so far is a race between Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut.
"I guess with the knee I had to miss two weeks which is a lot when you are competing for the starting job, but hopefully I can take what I’ve learned and put it on the field and make stuff happen," he said. "The goal is to win the starting job and the way I look at it, if I come out showing that I can run the ball, pass the ball and do everything I need to do as a quarterback in this offense and get things on the right track, then I can still win the starting job."
Hundley has been at every practice going through mental reps, he has been in the film sessions and has been studying the playbook in an effort to keep mentally sharp so he hopes he can quickly shake off any physical rust and make a quick impression.
"The main thing I’ve got to do is make sure I know my stuff," he said. "I’ve learned a lot over camp so I’ve got to put it on the field."
There are options for Hundley should he come up short in his bid for the starting job. He could continue to compete and try to win the starting job as the season progresses, he could go into a part-time role with specific packages designed to take advantages of his strengths or he could redshirt.
There is only one option right now, however, as far as Hundley is concerned.
"I came here to be the starting quarterback," Hundley said. "If I don’t, then I’ll start thinking about the other situations that can be. I haven’t really gotten into much yet but as we get toward the season we’ll figure it out."