UCLA coach Jim Mora believes he has a future NFL star in quarterback Brett Hundley, but Mora is worried the 21-year-old may get pigeonholed by the NFL as a running quarterback.
“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,” Mora said at Pac-12 Media Days on Thursday, according to Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel. “I coached Michael Vick [with the Falcons from 2004-06] and my belief 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.”
Mora added that Hundley, a redshirt junior who threw for 3,071 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, is "unequivocally ... a first-round draft pick" and "a future star in the NFL."
Hundley also rushed for 11 touchdowns last season and had 161 rushing yards, including an 86-yard touchdown, in a 42-12 drubbing of Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
When asked if he’s experienced the stereotype, Hundley said: “Oh yeah. 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.' 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.”
The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Hundley completed 66.8 percent of his passes last season and threw nine interceptions, down from 11 in 2012.
- Chris Mascaro