Random notes while remembering Luke Walton doing to UCLA fans what Brett Hundley Jr. is now doing to those at Arizona …
– Of course, the pain — if you can call it that — is somewhat more severe for UCLA fans that Walton, son of Bruin and NBA legend Bill Walton, opted to play for the Cats instead of his father’s alma mater. Hundley Jr.’s father, Brett Hundley Sr., lettered at Arizona only in 1986, seven years before his son was born.
Hundley Sr. did not get much of a chance to play because the Arizona backfield included the likes of David Adams, James DeBow, David Eldridge and Chris McLemore. Also on that roster at running back was Chuck Knox Jr., the son of another famous dad — former NFL head coach Chuck Knox Sr.
Hundley Jr., a redshirt freshman quarterback who is matching the performance of L.A. counterpart Matt Barkley at USC, will play his first game against his dad’s former team Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported this week that Hundley, who grew up in a pro-Wildcat household, has not discussed the game with his dad. The younger Hundley was also aggressively recruited by the staff of former Arizona coach Mike Stoops. Hundley Jr. cheered for Arizona as a kid, but he never got to see his father play. He told the Daily News that his father will likely tell him: “Go out ballin’”
“Once I committed, everything that I used to do sort of went to trash,” Hundley told the Daily News.
– Hundley is not the first son of a former Wildcat to play against the Wildcats.
The Kalil brothers at USC (offensive linemen Ryan and Matt) — sons of former UA center Frank Kalil — played against the Wildcats from 2003 to 2006 (Ryan) and 2009 to 2011 (Matt) before going to the NFL as high draft picks.
Greg Hansen of The Arizona Daily Star wrote in April, after Matt Kalil was taken in the first round by Minnesota, that the Kalil brothers never considered Arizona because of possible ties broken between Frank Kalil and the UA.
“Perhaps it was related to the 1982 draft, when Frank Kalil was an 11th-round pick of the Buffalo Bills,” Hansen writes. “He was angry that the UA coaching staff could not get him a spot in the East-West Game or the Senior Bowl and has not been close to the school since.”
The elder Kalil also played at Arkansas for two years before transferring to Arizona in 1980. Former USC coach Pete Carroll, who recruited the Kalil brothers, coached Frank Kalil at Arkansas as an assistant.
Rodney Peete, son of former UA wide receiver and assistant coach Willie Peete (played with the Wildcats from 1956-59), starred at USC from 1985-88 before playing 16 years in the NFL.
Peete was 4-0 against Arizona, his hometown school. He attended Sahuaro High School for three years before transferring to Overland Park (Kansas) Shawnee Mission South High School as a senior when his father landed a job at Kansas.
Ryan Kalil was 3-0 against the Wildcats and Matt 2-1.
– One last item, unrelated to athletes with famous fathers, is UCLA will wear new uniforms on Saturday night. They are called “L.A. Nights” uniforms and look sleek. They are navy blue — not the baby blue UCLA is accustomed to wearing at home.
“We’re wearing the new uniforms, which we don’t want to be a distraction, so we’re going to come out here tomorrow and put the helmets on, put the shoes on,” UCLA coach Jim Mora was quoted as saying by Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve had every kid go in and get fitted. It’s exciting for them, it is. But we want to put the excitement away before we get to the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.
“That’s kind of our philosophy. We need to wear them — they’re beautiful, they really are beautiful. They incorporate a lot of what UCLA is — the old numbers.”
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner