Aug. 18, 2008
"We've decided to name Kevin Craft our starting quarterback," said coach Neuheisel following the second of two practice sessions on Monday. "He's earned it with his consistent play and he has the best mastery of the offense at this point."
Craft, a redshirt junior, transferred to UCLA from Mt. San Antonio Junior College in time for the 2008 Spring Quarter and was able to participate in spring practice. He completed 313 of 511 passes (61.3%) for 4,231 yards, 44 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season at Mt. SAC while leading his team to a 10-3 record and the Southern California Junior College championship. Craft had seven games with over 300 yards passing over the course of the season, including a best of 452 yards versus Cerritos College. The Valley Center, CA HS product threw for six touchdowns in three different games last season against Mt. San Jacinto College, Cerritos College and Moorpark College. He was named a first-team All-American by JC Gridwire and the California State Offensive Player of the Year by JC Athletic Bureau-California Community College Football Coaches Association.
Craft spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons at San Diego State. As a redshirt freshman in 2006, he appeared in nine games for the Aztecs and started five contests. He completed 69 of 121 passes that season for 737 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions. In his first career start, he completed 20 of 32 passes for 216 yards in a game at BYU. He also started games against Air Force, Cal Poly SLO, Wyoming and UNLV. He started two of his team's three victories that season (Air Force and UNLV). Craft redshirted as a true freshman at San Diego State in 2005.
Craft would become the first Bruin quarterback to start a season-opening contest in his initial season following a transfer since Troy Aikman, who came to UCLA from Oklahoma, took the first snap in the 1987 opener against San Diego State (Aikman redshirted in 1986). He is also the first junior college transfer to start a season-opening game in his initial season since Mark Harmon in 1972.