UCLA QB Brett Hundley to return for junior season

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm •  Published: January 6, 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brett Hundley decided the NFL can wait until he accomplishes a few more feats for UCLA.

Hundley will return for his junior season, the UCLA quarterback announced Monday at a campus news conference packed with teammates and friends.

After just two seasons as the Bruins' prolific starter, Hundley likely would have been a high pick in the upcoming draft, perhaps even the first quarterback taken. He waited a few days after UCLA's Sun Bowl victory before deciding he wants another shot at the Rose Bowl, a national title or a Heisman Trophy with the up-and-coming Bruins.

"We're going to do big things this year, so let's have some fun and do it," Hundley said.

Hundley has been the UCLA starter since his first game under coach Jim Mora, running for a 72-yard score on his first collegiate snap in 2012. He has won 19 games and established himself as one of the nation's top young quarterbacks with his arm and his legs, but Hundley believes he can do much more with a loaded, experienced roster behind him this fall.

"All the stars are really aligned to put together something really special at UCLA," Hundley said. "And not just something that you'll forget about, but something where you'll be remembered for something along the line. When you get old, you can look back and say, 'I was part of that team and that program, and helped bring them back to where they needed to be.'"

UCLA won 10 games this season for the first time since 2005, trouncing rival Southern California for the second straight year and finishing second in the Pac-12 South. Hundley was selected the offensive MVP of the Bruins' victory over Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl last month after passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 161 more yards and two scores, showcasing his dynamic game to a national audience.

Hundley spoke to former UCLA teammates Johnathan Franklin and Datone Jones about their NFL experiences while making his decision, and they encouraged him to take his time with the Bruins.

"Johnathan Franklin, he told me that there are things in life you don't want to rush," Hundley said of his former tailback, now with the Green Bay Packers. "That sort of stuck. Knowing that you're only in college once, and to play this game and to be part of this kind of brotherhood that we've built here and understand we're on the verge of something great ... is something that I really want to be a part of."