Jim Mora has found quick success in his two seasons as head coach of the UCLA Bruins thanks in large part to the play of his quarterback Brett Hundley. The redshirt sophomore has emerged as one of the elite dual-threat quarterbacks in college football and was being watched closely as he decided whether or not to return to school in 2014. With sources saying that the quarterback will be back for his junior season, UCLA gets a huge boost in 2014 that should make them a favorite to win the Pac-12 South.
Hundley really distinguished himself this season as a dynamic playmaker under center, proving that his breakout freshman season in 2012 was no fluke. He finished the year completing 67.2 percent of his passes, accumulating 3,071 yards through the air with 26 passing touchdowns in addition to 748 yards and 11 more touchdowns on the ground. He put his playmaking ability on full display in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies when he racked up 387 total yards of offense and four touchdowns, highlighted by an 86-yard touchdown run.
UCLA failed to make it back to the Pac-12 Championship in 2013 but has a young and talented roster that only figures to get better as Mora continues to add talent on the recruiting trail. With an experienced and explosive leader under center with Hundley, that talented core of the Bruins could make a serious push to the top of the conference in 2014 and possibly make a case for a spot in the new College Football Playoff. Hundley could also make a strong push for himself as a Heisman Trophy finalist and an eventual top pick in the NFL Draft.
With Hundley committed to return for 2014 and Mora turning down other jobs this offseason, UCLA is in prime position to take the next step as a program next fall. Will they be able to take advantage?