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UCLA football: Brett Hundley has purpose in returning

By Chris Foster

11:02 AM PST, January 6, 2014

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Brett Hundley thought about his future, thought long and hard over the past week and decided that another year as UCLA’s quarterback would be in his best interest.

Hundley announced Monday that he will hold off on declaring for the NFL draft one more year and would return to UCLA for his junior season. His motivation: team goals, as well as personal achievement.

His return will probably push the Bruins into the preseason top 10. Hundley will also be in the Heisman Trophy discussion, something that UCLA officials will try to ensure with a campaign. That began Monday with a “#Hundley4Heisman” link on the team’s website.

“I came to UCLA for a reason,” Hundley said. He mentioned getting a degree being in that equation, but taking the Bruins to another level in the college football world was a big part of his decision.

“We’re not in prominent spotlight yet, but with what have coming we have already, with everybody pretty much coming back, everything starts to align,” Hundley said. “We’re putting together something special.”

Hundley, who redshirted as a freshman, had mulled his decision since his electrifying performance in the Bruins’ 42-12 Sun Bowl victory. The victory gave the 10-3 Bruins their first 10-win season since 2005.

Hundley consulted his with his family and others in his circle, including former UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, who is with the Green Bay Packers. Hundley said his draft evaluation said he would be picked in the first, second, third or fourth rounds.

“After letting everything settle, I realized how close we are to being great,” Hundley said. “I didn’t want to leave yet. Johnathan told me that there are things in life you don’t want to rush.”

Hundley said he would make himself available for the 2015 draft — “We won’t be here doing this again next year,” he said. He also said that he would look into getting an insurance policy to protect his future.

But for now, he said, “We’re going to do some big things at UCLA and have some fun doing them.”

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