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UCLA's Brett Hundley taking tips from Philip Rivers, Tim Tebow

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
UCLA QB Brett Hundley has taken tips from Philip Rivers and Tim Tebow this offseason.

If you opted to work out instead of watching TV after class in college, kudos to you. You still can't top what UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley did after classes this offseason, however.

It's one thing to throw a few passes to teammates during your down time, but Hundley stepped his game up and communicated with a few folks who know what it takes to be a first-round NFL quarterback.

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"There were a couple of quarterbacks I got in contact with. Philip Rivers, Tim Tebow and a couple of others," Hundley told reporters after UCLA's spring practice on Tuesday. "They have so much knowledge to give of the game and they shared a lot of knowledge with me."

The connection to each quarterback? UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone coached Rivers at N.C. State and works with Tebow on his throwing mechanics in Los Angeles. His latest star pupil could be the next early draft pick under his tutelage.

Hundley is already an accomplished passer who elected to bypass the draft to return to school for his redshirt junior season. The 6-foot-3, 222-pounder spending the offseason trying to further develop his skills with NFL quarterbacks could be just what it takes to cement his status as a player at the next level in the eyes of some.

"You can focus on footwork and all that stuff, but a big part of being a quarterback is really understanding the game," said Hundley. "Knowing a defense, knowing what they're doing and why they're doing it. Knowing our offense and why we're doing it, really understanding the deeper thoughts behind the game.

"That's something I worked on in the offseason. Going into the film room and taking notes, reading them over. Talking to a lot of NFL quarterbacks and taking knowledge from them."

That could serve him well down the road.

Hundley set a host of school records in his first two seasons leading the UCLA offense and was named a Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist last season. He's already the focus of a budding "Hundley for Heisman" campaign but seems to be ignoring all the recent hype and focusing only on what he can do to improve.

"It's a blessing, honestly, to be able to have an opportunity like that," he said. "You can't really get caught up with it. I have to keep doing what got me here and that's working hard, understanding the game, learning and bonding with this team."

Hundley also mentioned that the Bruins were changing things up a bit this spring and trying to go a little faster. While that is a tried and true line about what coaching staffs attempt to do in spring ball, it tends to take on more weight in the Pac-12 -- where there's a yearly arms race in tiring out defenses.

We're sure West Coast scouts will love to see even more of Hundley throwing the ball as he could be considered one of the top quarterback prospects next year if he were to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.



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