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UCLA QB Kevin Prince ready to play supporting role

August 29, 2012|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince will be watching from the sidelines when the Bruins open the season Thursday against Rice.
UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince will be watching from the sidelines when… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

This is a season on unfamiliar turf for UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince.

He goes into the Bruins’ opener at Rice on Thursday as a sideline spectator. The last time that happened was in 2008, when the Bruins opened against Tennessee and Prince was sitting out as a redshirt freshman.

Prince has been UCLA’s starter the last three seasons but will watch redshirt freshman Brett Hundley run the Bruins’ offense against the Owls.

“It’s different,” Prince said. “I’m just trying to be mentor to some of the young guys.”

Particularly to Hundley, who will play in his first college game Thursday. Prince was in the same position in 2009 and senior Kevin Craft was there for him.

There were moments -- often captured by television cameras -- when then-head coach Rick Neuhesiel would scream at Prince on the sidelines. Sometimes Neuheisel would walk away and return to continue to verbally scold him.

Craft would wait it out, then walk over and pat Prince on the back.

 “When you get into college, sometimes it becomes too much of a business,” Prince said. “It’s still football. It’s still a game. That’s what Kevin Craft did for me when I was starting. He made the game fun for me again.”

Hundley, Prince said, “has never played a college game,” but added, “you learn on the fly and you learn pretty quickly how to adjust.”

Prince battled through three shoulder injuries, two concussions, a back injury and a broken jaw the past three seasons. He also led the Bruins to two bowl games.


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