What was already clear on the practice field is now official on UCLA’s football depth chart. Redshirt freshman Brett Hundley is the Bruins’ No. 1 quarterback.
He has looked the part since spring drills, but first-year Coach Jim Mora announced the news on Friday anyway, with the Bruins set to resume training camp Saturday with morning and evening practices at Cal State San Bernardino.
“After watching 22 practices, watching him demonstrate leadership, pose and timing, it was apparent that he was the right guy to lead this team in 2012,” Mora said.
Hundley said this week he had put in the work and was ready to assume the role.
“I worked during the off-season, doing all I could do,” he said. “I was in the film room, learning as much as I could, rather than thinking summer is the time to sit back and chill.”
Hundley, listed at 6 feet 3 and 223 pounds, was a much-sought recruit at Chandler (Ariz.) High. He chose UCLA over Washington.
Hundley is dangerous as both a passer and runner. He threw for 2,348 yards and ran for 856 as a high school senior.
Hundley, who turned 19 in June, has already grown into a leadership role.
“It definitely feels a little funny,” he said. “I’m still a young cat. But this team is real good about knowing that even the younger guys are here to win. We’re a band of brothers.
“You can never say how you get a leadership position,” he added. “It just comes. You can’t say why. All you can do is have others see that you’re working hard.”
Hundley will try to alter the course of the position at UCLA. The Bruins have lacked stability at quarterback in recent seasons, mostly due to injuries. The starting quarterback has missed 50 of UCLA’s last 77 games. That includes Ben Olson and Patrick Cowan, who missed the 2008 season after being injured during spring practice.
The quarterback competition will now be about who backs up Hundley. The leading candidates are seniors Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince and redshirt freshman Jerry Neuheisel.
Prince opened as the Bruins’ starter the last three seasons, but was derailed by injuries each time. Brehaut started 11 games the past two seasons, but missed seven games because of a broken leg in 2011.
UCLA also has incoming freshmen T.J. Millweard and Devin Fuller.
Mora ordered the Bruins to be on the practice field early Friday, dressed for a workout and carrying water bottles. They were handed ropes and were told the team bonding event would be a hike into the hills behind Cal State San Bernardino in triple-digit temperatures.
Mora then told them to head for the swimming pool.