UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has emerged this season as a potential first-round selection in next spring’s NFL draft if he decides to go pro a year early.
Rosen, a 2014 first-team American Family Insurance ALL-USA quarterback at St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), leads the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in passing yards (2,135), total offense (431.6 yards per game) and passing yards per game (427 yards). He’s thrown for more than 300 yards in each of his past seven games. In his last game Sept. 30, he completed 28 of 45 passes for 372 yards and a touchdown in a 27-23 win against Colorado to lift the Bruins to 3-2.
“I don’t know what his numbers were,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said after the game. “I think he set the bar so incredibly high that we all have to be measured in our evaluation of him. … Josh will be his own toughest critic.”
At St. John Bosco, Rosen led the Braves to a 16-0 record and a state championship his junior year. As a senior, Bosco went 12-2 and was the CIF Southern Section Div. I runner-up. On Friday, his former team, the No. 15 team in the Super 25 football rankings, plays host to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.).
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St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro has kept an eye on his former player’s development at UCLA.
“I think Josh has improved each and every year out of high school,” Negro said via text. “He continues to get bigger and stronger and his accuracy and velocity of the ball has definitely improved.”
Negro said he can see a future for Rosen in the NFL.
“He is a can’t miss first-rounder in my opinion,” Negro said. “And his biggest strength doesn’t show up on the field by watching him. His intelligence is off the charts.”
Rosen’s smarts and willingness to speak his mind have set him apart at UCLA, but even in high school, he was outspoken.
Asked about the high-profile camps such as the Elite 11 in high school, Negro said the gear was great but there wasn’t much a quarterback could learn over three days. He also said that while he worked out for football, a lot of his lifting was to make sure he looked good at the beach.
At UCLA, Rosen struck a nerve when he said football and school don’t go together, that doing both is like trying to do two full-time jobs.
While Mora may cringe at Rosen’s outspokenness, he isn’t trying to change his junior quarterback’s mind. On the Dan Patrick Show, Mora said:
“Well, I think it’s important to know this about Josh Rosen: He’s very, very well respected by his coaches and his teammates because we see on a daily basis his commitment, his work ethic, his attitude, his passion for football. We also know that he’s an incredibly intelligent young man that does have opinions. Often times those opinions are conveyed to others because he is trying to bring attention to some that are maybe less fortunate or have less than he does.”