UCLA will start freshman Josh Rosen at quarterback, head coach Jim Mora announced on Wednesday.
“At the end, it came down to Josh and Jerry,” Mora told reporters. “When you have done it as long as we have done it, at some point it just becomes apparent to you. You get a gut feeling. You have seen enough and you say, ‘You know what? It’s time to make that decision, and let’s go.’ And that’s what we did.”
Mora also ruled out the possibility of Rosen and Neuheisel splitting time. Neuheisel is the son of former UCLA quarterback and coach Rick Neuheisel.
A five-star quarterback out of St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif., Rosen signed with UCLA as the No. 1 quarterback and No. 2 overall player in the class of 2015, according to Rivals.com. Over his high school career, Rosen passed for 8,473 yards and 90 touchdowns.
Considering that pedigree, Rosen was widely expected to start UCLA’s Sept. 5 season opener against Virginia. Last week, however, reporters witnessed Mora screaming at Rosen during practice, telling him, “You’re not at ... Bellflower St. John Bosco. That’s why you have not been named the starter.”
Rosen steps into the quarterback job vacated by Brett Hundley, a three-year starter who left UCLA early as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of May’s NFL draft.
Entering the season, UCLA is ranked No. 14 by Sports Illustrated and the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, and No. 13 by the preseason Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
- Mike Fiammetta