With quarterback Richard Brehaut out at least three weeks because of a broken leg, freshman Brett Hundley got extensive work with the first-team offense during practice Tuesday and declared he would be ready for game action if necessary by UCLA's next game Oct. 20 at Arizona.
"If my number is called, I know I could produce," Hundley said.
He had some moments of production Tuesday, such as when he connected on a long touchdown pass over the middle to Joe Fauria, but also had some other moments such as when he had to do pushups in punishment for carrying the ball incorrectly while running.
Still, he said, he's feeling more and more comfortable on the practice field.
"I’m starting to notice dropping back now sometimes, I’m not even thinking," he said. "It’s just throwing the ball, like the one down to Joe, I wasn’t even thinking. It was just 1, 2, 3, saw the middle of the field open and Joe is one on one and I’m just throwing it. Stuff like that just becomes instinctive and that’s the thing that’s going to help a lot."
The big question now is whether or not it's wise to use Hundley at this point in the season. He hasn't played yet, so he could still use this as a redshirt year. As soon as he goes on the field, however, that will be gone.
"The farther we get into the season, the more you sort of say you might want to do [redshirt], but we’ll just have to see how it plays out," Hundley said. "As it gets later in the season, you might as well."
But UCLA might not have a choice. Hundley is officially the No. 2 quarterback behind Kevin Prince, meaning Hundley is one play away from getting in a game. Neuheisel hinted Sunday he'd like to get Hundley involved in some sort of package to get his feet wet instead of getting to the point where he is forced to play without ever having been in a game.
Neuheisel said Tuesday that will all depend on how Hundley handles the extra responsibilities this week.
"I’ll know more this time next week," Neuheisel said. "But I feel like given the situation, given how he looks at the future and how it stacks up, I think he’ll be ready."