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UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley young, but growing

UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

The freshman's work at a scrimmage is encouraging, but Coach Rick Neuheisel says he needs to be more decisive. Richard Brehaut orchestrates four scoring drives.

April 14, 2011|By Austin Knoblauch
  • UCLA freshman quarterback Brett Hundley realizes he needs to be more decisive once he lines up under center.
UCLA freshman quarterback Brett Hundley realizes he needs to be more decisive… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel was encouraged by what he saw in his team's second 40-play scrimmage of the spring on Thursday, but he's eager to see more from freshman quarterback Brett Hundley.

Hundley completed four of 11 passes for 29 yards, but failed to get the Bruins in the end zone while at the helm of the second offensive unit. Neuheisel is hoping to see a lot more decisiveness in his young quarterback before UCLA's spring game on April 23.

"He's not sure, which is totally understandable for a guy who just got here," Neuheisel said, "but you can't play the position if you're not sure. He's got to work harder."

Hundley, who admits making the transition from high school to college football has been harder than he initially anticipated, understands that he needs to cut down on mistakes and focus more on how the play is developing in front of him.

"I'm in the process of getting a feel for my receivers, and it's something that I know will come in time," Hundley said. "I'm thinking a little too much getting on the line and I'm not letting it come natural to me. Once it becomes second nature to me, everything will become smoother."

Still, Neuheisel didn't blame the offensive unit's struggles solely on Hundley — the line struggled to provide Hundley with adequate protection.

"We've got to raise offensive linemen here and it's not always a fun job," Neuheisel said. "It's down in the dirt, 'get your face dirty' type of stuff."

As for the first offensive unit, Neuheisel was pleased with what he saw from quarterback Richard Brehaut, who orchestrated four scoring drives and connected on six of seven passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown came on a 30-yard pass to 6-foot-5 receiver Nelson Rosario, who made a spectacular, one-handed catch over Sheldon Price in the end zone.

"It's a play I've seen Nelson make before," Brehaut said. "It was a great catch."

Rosario finished with three catches for 44 yards and Kip Smith hit two of three field-goal attempts.

Injury update

Running back Damien Thigpen injured his right hamstring at practice, but the injury is not considered serious. Neuheisel said there's a chance he might have to sit out the rest of the spring.

Safety Tony Dye had an MRI on Wednesday, revealing a mild sprain to his left knee. He is listed as day to day and the injury is not as bad as the team initially feared.

Field of Bruins

Several former UCLA players were on the sidelines during Thursday's scrimmage, opting to meet at Spaulding Field before jetting off to Alabama to attend the funeral of former UCLA assistant coach Homer Smith on Friday.

Quarterbacks Tom Ramsey, Wayne Cook, Matt Stevens, linebacker Frank Stephens, split end David Clinton and defensive back Gifford Irvine were all roaming the sidelines as they waited for Neuheisel to finish.

"We're going to have a great time talking about Homer," Neuheisel said. "It's a great tribute to a guy who meant a lot to many, many people."

austin.knoblauch@latimes.com

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