UCLA's new pistol offense requires an athletic quarterback who forces a defense to respect him as a running threat. With starting QB Kevin Prince sitting out the past week with a strained abdominal muscle, a JC transfer is presenting an intriguing option.
Darius Bell, a 6-foot, 218-pounder who transferred from City College of San Francisco in July, led the first-team offense Monday, while Prince's established backup, Richard Brehaut, worked with the twos.
Where do things stand? From the LA Times:
Coach Rick Neuheisel said, "[Offensive coordinator Norm Chow] wanted to give [Bell] a few more shots today."
Chow said that Brehaut and Bell were "about even."
Bell, a sophomore, is the younger brother of former UCLA tailback Kahlil Bell. He passed for 1,982 yards and 21 TDs last season at City College of San Francisco and rushed for 751 yards and 11 TDs.
The big question: If Prince's injury continues to sideline him, and Bell continues to impress running an offense with which he is familiar, does Bell become a threat to win the starting job or at least earn significant playing time in specific packages?
In other words: Is Bell the Bruins' Jeremiah Masoli, another unheralded transfer from CCSF who made good (before making bad) in an option offense?
It's not the most likely scenario -- Chow holds Prince's potential as a passer in high esteem (and Chow has never been a pure option guy) -- but it's now on the table as an, er, option.
Prince might want to hurry back.