After much speculation and anticipation, Chip Kelly, head coach of the UCLA Bruins, has officially announced the quarterback who will lead the team in their next game. During a media gathering at the Monday morning practice session, Kelly unveiled that redshirt junior Ethan Garbers will be taking the helm when the Bruins face off against Coastal Carolina at the Rose Bowl this Saturday night.
The decision comes after a rigorous evaluation process, with Garbers competing against Dante Moore and Collin Schlee for the coveted QB1 position. Garbers’ extensive experience within Kelly’s system seemed to have tipped the scales in his favor, surpassing the talents of both Moore, a true freshman, and Schlee, a recent addition to the program.
The choice to start Garbers is grounded in practical reasoning. Moore, hailing from Detroit and an early enrollee, can be gradually introduced to the game without excessive pressure. Meanwhile, Garbers, with several years of familiarity with Kelly’s strategies, will be spearheading the team’s initial encounters in the non-conference games. Having garnered recognition as a top-5 national player, Moore holds a prominent position among UCLA’s most highly-rated recruits in recent times.
Here’s a quick glance at the career statistics of the players:
- Ethan Garbers (18 games): 57-of-88 for 599 passing yards; 4 TD : 4 INT; 64.8% pass completion
- Collin Schlee (24 games): 181-of-303 for 2,460 passing yards; 16 TD : 5 INT; 59.7% pass completion
- Dante Moore: Data not available
Schlee, who held the starting quarterback role at Kent State in the previous year, is noted for his impressive physical abilities. However, reports suggest that he faced challenges in terms of accuracy and touch in his throws. Given his exceptional running abilities, it’s conceivable that Coach Kelly might harness Schlee’s skills in plays designed for running. Nonetheless, the spotlight will now be on the 6-foot-3 redshirt junior Garbers from Newport Beach. As a former 4-star prospect, Garbers is known for his strategic gameplay, moderate athleticism, and adeptness in executing throws within the short-to-intermediate range.
With the suspense finally lifted, the UCLA Bruins can shift their focus entirely to what promises to be an exciting and highly anticipated 2023 season.