The opening of spring ball Tuesday in Westwood meant the return of one of UCLA’s most talkative figures.
And no, we’re not talking about LaVar Ball.
Quarterback Josh Rosen was on the field with his Bruins teammates for the first time since the midway point of last season, when the signal caller missed the final six games because of shoulder surgery.
As he sat and watched UCLA stumble to a disappointing 4-8 season, rival USC ascended to a Rose Bowl win behind quarterback Sam Darnold, who enters his redshirt sophomore year as a Heisman Trophy contender in 2017.
How did the combination of all of that make Rosen, a 2016 preseason Heisman candidate himself, feel?
“It sucked — it wasn’t as much what was happening around the conference as much as it was just like seeing all the guys out on the field grinding and knowing you’re not out there with them,” Rosen told reporters.
The normally outspoken Rosen was much more reserved, relatively speaking, when meeting with the media. See for yourself, thanks to our friends at Bruin Sports Report:
Rosen was critical of his play last season, as he went just 3-3 as a starter. The former five-star prospect enters his junior season working with his third offensive coordinator in as many years, but he’s excited about what former Michigan OC Jedd Fisch brings to the table.
“I love Coach Fisch, because me and Wilton Speight are really good friends and we’ve talked and they’re really close, so he gave me little insight before I actually ended up meeting him,” Rosen told reporters. “But so far it’s been great. He’s really smart, he knows all his stuff and he’s really good at explaining everything, and we’ve been tweaking stuff actually here and there and I’m a fan of it so far. And I think all is going really well and we’re going in a positive direction.”
Rosen also shied away from any grand proclamations after last season, even jokingly cutting off a reporter who had begun to ask about the prospects of entering next year’s NFL draft.
Once again, Rosen and UCLA should be one of the more fascinating storylines to follow throughout this upcoming season. The combination of talent, “talk-ability” and town means plenty of eyes will be on the program in 2017.
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