There are going to be a lot of eyes on UCLA this spring. Not only because of the new coaching staff and complete system overhauls, but also because of the players who will be operating within those systems. Enter Brett Hundley, who is at the vanguard of three-way quarterback competition with Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut.
What's your mentality heading into spring ball?
Brett Hundley: Pretty much just to be the best that I can be. I felt like last spring, I didn't really know much about the college game. To be honest, I didn't know nothing at all. I knew what I knew in high school, but as far as college defenses and all of that, I didn't know anything. I know a lot more this year and I feel comfortable running an offense, knowing what to throw against what defenses, I feel a lot more comfortable with all of that. This spring, I'm focused on knowing the playbook and working on getting faster.
Is it frustrating that you spent all last year learning an offense and adjusting to the college game and now you have to learn a whole new offense?
BH: Yeah, I was like, 'whoa, that kind of blows.' This new offense is a lot easier. There is a big difference between last year's offense and this year's. This offense is pretty simple. It's a good offense and it's a faster offense. You have your progression reads and your line calls. For the most part, this is an easy offense to understand. This offense lets you play at full speed. You don't have to think. You say 'hike' and then it's off to the races. It was a bummer that I learned an offense last year that I have to forget, but I'm really happy with this offense and looking forward to running it.
Do you feel like this offense suits your talents?
BH: For sure. This offense fits my talents really well so I was happy when I heard this offense was coming in. It lets the quarterback use every outlet he has. You can run the ball if you want -- not that I'm going to run, I want to get it in the playmakers' hands -- but I could take off running and get some yards there. I feel like I've been blessed with an ability to throw and run. I'd rather sit in the pocket and throw, but it's nice to have the ability to make the defense play a whole game instead of just the pass. You have to play the quarterback because you have that option to take off running. It's a great offense, so I can't wait.
Obviously, the job isn't yours. What's your approach to the competition?
BH: Just be the best that I can be. I know Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut are great quarterbacks and they are working hard too. I just need to focus on the things that I can control. I can control my footwork and the playbook. As long as I focus on those things and be the best I can, I really don't worry about other things. It's really about who can come and show what they can do. There is a lot we can show in this offense. I'm ready to work and can't wait to compete.
I don't know how much you read, but you're the popular pick among fans. They want to see you. Are you aware of that?
BH: I don't really read the blogs. I just let my family read up on stuff like that. I don't want to get pulled in. You can always be the popular pick, but until you prove something on the field, it means nothing. All that stuff is nice to hear, it's a cool thing, but I don't get into it. I try to keep my head out of it and focus on what I do. I haven't been on the field yet. I need to go out and prove I can play at the collegiate level.
What have you seen so far that's different about this coaching staff?
BH: It's more of a grinding attitude. When you get out on the field, it's time to work. That's what he's really delivered. An attitude. Coach [Jim] Mora and the coaching staff bring some much-needed energy to the team. I think we really needed that.
What makes you think you can be the team to beat in the South?
BH: I think we have a lot of talent coming and if we can get everyone ready and in the weight room, I think we have a lot of talent that hasn't shown yet. I think coach Mora and this staff will put us in positions to succeed. Once we get rolling, I think we have so much potential to show the nation what we can really do.
What do you bring to the table that might be different than Richard or Kevin? What's going to make you stand out to the coaching staff?
BH: Those two guys are great leaders. But the one thing I try to do is work hard and bring a work ethic and a wanting to be great. I push myself to the limit and fight for every inch. I work hard every day and fight for everything so hopefully that will pay off.
You could have just bragged about arm strength.
BH: (Laughing) Yeah, I guess I could have said that too.