UCLA coach Jim Mora is worried about Brett Hundley’s future.
Oh, he’s sure his star quarterback will be a first-round NFL draft pick — and maybe could have been one had he left after last season — but he’s worried about the way Hundley will be perceived at the next level.
“People have a tendency at times to see an African-American quarterback and say, 'Oh, he’s a runner.' I hate that stereotype and I always have,” said Mora. “I coached Michael Vick and my belief [is] that we stereotype those guys started with him. I don’t want that to happen with Brett, and I’m going to make sure that it doesn’t, because it shouldn’t.
“The guy’s a passer.”
To be clear, Mora considers Hundley a dual-threat quarterback. Last season, Hundley threw for 3,071 yards and rushed for 748, but Mora said Hundley is a pass-first quarterback, who has the ability to run the ball well.
Hundley acknowledges the stereotype of being a “running quarterback” and that just because he can run, doesn’t mean that’s always going to be his first option.
“Obviously, it’s come a long way. But when you have the ability to run, a lot of people will tell you, 'Hey, stay in the pocket,'” Hundley said. “There’s a clash of reasoning as a quarterback of what you should be doing. Some quarterbacks that might not be as gifted [running], they have to stay in the pocket. When you’re gifted with the ability to run, you’ll take off running.”
But Mora has no plans to change the way Hundley plays in an effort to alleviate the perception. He just hopes the redshirt junior’s numbers speak for themselves.
“Brett is a thrower,” said Mora. “It would be awful if people started to categorize Brett as a running quarterback.
“When the NFL comes and evaluates him in earnest, they will absolutely fall in love with him. He’s a thrower, and you need guys that can throw the ball down the field, but it’s also really nice to have a guy that can do both.”
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