WESTWOOD—With the departure of Josh Rosen to the NFL, UCLA has been left with a gaping hole with its starting quarterback position. It is important to remember that Chip Kelly is now the coach of the UCLA Bruins because he runs his own unique offensive scheme: the two-minute spread offense.
Kelly has shown a strong affinity for dual-threat quarterbacks. This is evident when looking at Kelly’s track record. He has coached quarterbacks such as Jeremiah Masoli (Oregon Ducks), Marcus Mariota (Oregon Ducks), and Colin Kaepernick (SF 49ers).
The Bruins’ quarterback competition is currently between Devon Modster, Matt Lynch, Wilton Speight, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson (gojoebruin.com).
Devon Modster and Matt Lynch are both returning to UCLA this season after being backups last year. They are entering their sophomore season (both performed as redshirted during their freshman year) with little in-game experience under their belts. Modster is the most game-ready.
Modster is considered a favorite because he is a dual-threat quarterback. He is listed at 6 foot and 2 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds. He played mostly in garbage time last year, but did start two games for the Bruins in 2017. In his first game against Utah, he threw for 103 yards and 1 TD on 8/12 passing. During the Cactus Bowl, he threw for 295 yards and 2 TDs on 21/34 passing. The Bruins lost both games, but Modster improved.
Matt Lynch has not had any notable playing time in the past. Wilton Speight is entering his senior year as a transfer from Michigan. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a freshman and Austin Burton is a redshirt freshman. Thompson-Robinson may have the same advantage as Modster, as he is also a dual-threat quarterback, but with less experience.
Considering Kelly’s preference for dual-threat quarterbacks, it would seem both Modster and Thompson-Robinson have a good shot at the starting quarterback position. Kelly could decide to go with a more traditional quarterback such as Lynch or Speight. It seems Kelly needs more time before naming the starting quarterback for the 2018-2019 football season.