Josh Rosen is nothing if not honest. The UCLA quarterback rarely shies away from voicing his opinion, and this week was no different.
Rosen spoke out against amateurism, saying that “human beings don’t belong in school with our schedules.” He went on to say that “football and school don’t go together” and that “trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs,” adding that certain student-athletes have no business being in college but attend because it’s a viable path to the NFL.
Is Rosen right?
“I think the most important thing about his comments is you have to read the whole article,” former UCLA offensive lineman and current CBS college football analyst Randy Cross said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “If you read the whole article, the context in which he’s saying it makes a lot of sense – because he’s 100 percent right.”
Rosen also took a shot at Alabama, saying, “Raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have.”
Cross didn’t mind that, either.
“If you don’t think there’s a difference in the basic class load at Clemson and a class load you can select at UCLA or a Stanford or an SC or any place like that,” he said, “I think you’re kidding yourself.”
Rosen, who is entering his junior season, is one of the top quarterbacks in America. He’s also never been bashful about voicing his opinion.
“He tends to be a little too honest at times,” Cross said. “I think if Jim Mora has one problem with him on occasion, he’s kind of a TMI King because he will just keep on going. But the very thing that makes him a little bit of a lightning rod when it comes to that is also something that makes him a pretty good leader.”
If anything, speaking out against amateurism – and Alabama – will only give Rosen more credibility in the huddle.
“I think so,” Cross said. “(His teammates) know him as well – if not better – than anybody else, certainly anybody that’s writing an article about him. He comes from a fairly affluent background, so I don’t think he’s going to have to worry much if and when his football career is over, but he’s not atypical when it comes to that. The way he is kind of makes him more and more interesting.”
Rosen has thrown for 5,585 yards and 33 touchdowns at UCLA. He had plenty of highlights as a freshman, throwing for 3,670 yards and 23 touchdowns, but he was hit early and often that season. Cross called him a “powder-blue piñata.”
And yet, Rosen didn’t call out his teammates.
“He was just getting destroyed,” Cross said, “but you didn’t hear him screaming and yelling and going crazy about that. It’s something that I got to say I was a little surprised (by) initially, that he wasn’t going crazy. But we’ll see. I think the Bruins have got potential for a double-digit-win year.”
UCLA, which went 4-8 last season, opens against Texas A&M in Pasadena on Sept. 3. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“But let’s be honest,” Cross said, getting back to the original point. “School is an individual-type emphasis. No matter if you’re going to Alabama or UCLA or Wake Forest or Vandy or Princeton or whatever – if you’re playing a sport, there’s a reason there are headhunters and groups out there that want to find NCAA student-athletes that did well in school. Because they know they know how to budget their time. They know how to do a lot of things that I think the average student doesn’t have to do in college because they’re not trying to also juggle all that time devoted to a sport.”