As UCLA football fans watch the Bruins' long-time signal-caller Dorian Thompson-Robinson light things up as the surprise success story of the Cleveland Browns preseason, the next great Chip Kelly quarterback is quietly putting in work in Westwood, even if the program isn't necessarily sure who will be taking snaps under center – read: from the shotgun – come Week 1 versus Coastal Carolina.
Though redshirt junior Collin Schlee is currently the front-runner for the gig, as he appeared in 24 games for Kent State before transferring to Los Angeles for his first real shot at Power 5 actions, he admits that the competition is bringing out the best in the quarterbacks' room.
“It's very fun,” Collin Schlee said on the UCLA QB competition in an interview with ESPN. “You don't just compete on the field; you compete in the meeting rooms, too. You try to be the first one to answer all the questions.”
Discussing the program he's suddenly tasked with potentially leading, Schlee noted that, while the playbook is more expansive than what he's used to in Ohio, he's excited about the opportunity to learn and grow under one of college football's luminaries.
“This is more of an NFL-style offense,” Schlee noted. “At Kent State, it was pretty self-explanatory. It was basically just like a normal college offense. This is way more… I don't know, there's more stuff going on, more schemes, but it's helped me for the long run where I want to go in the future more in terms of reads and making progressions.”
Will Schlee win the job in time for September, or will another quarterback like Justyn Martin beat him out? Fans will have to wait to find out.