Brett Hundley

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has plenty of time to pass as his offensive line protects him during the Bruins' season-opening win against Nevada. An offensive line renaissance appears to be underway in Westwood. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / August 31, 2013)

What Jonathan Ogden sees seems familiar.

Ogden, who played at UCLA from 1992-95, was the best offensive lineman in what was an era of top offensive linemen in Westwood. He has identified a renaissance.

"It's amazing to look back at the lines we had," said Ogden, a member of the NFL Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. "There was all that NFL talent. Myself, Vaughn Parker, Mike Flanagan, Craig Novitsky."

Flashing forward, Ogden said, "The talented guys UCLA has now look like they can play at the next level."

UCLA fans fawn over quarterback Brett Hundley. Running back Jordon James ranks fourth nationally in yards rushing per game. Receiver Shaquelle Evans has caught a touchdown pass in each game.

They get the oohs. The guys making it possible get the "whos?"

The Bruins are third nationally, averaging 52.7 points in three games and UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said, "Everything starts with the line."

There's a chance you didn't notice.

"You don't want people noticing you," Klemm said. "It means you've done something wrong."

The NFL passed on every UCLA offensive lineman from 2000-12. Last season, Jeff Baca ended that drought when the Minnesota Vikings took him in the sixth round.

Ogden sees many more NFL draft picks on the way. "All these guys seem to have the athleticism and all seem to have a nasty streak," he said.

The Bruins gave up 53 sacks, an average of nearly four per game, in 2012. They have cut that average in half through three games this season.

"I feel a lot more comfortable back there," Hundley said. "You can see me sit back and go through reads and make throws. Last season, I was looking for the pass rush."

UCLA averages 284 yards rushing this season.

"They love knocking people down," James said. "And I love running behind them."

Center Jake Brendel has developed into the cornerstone, even off the field, where he acts as judge, jury and, if need be, executioner. "I appointed myself," Brendel said. "I'm not a sugarcoater. I'll get on people when needed, but I'll also say good job when they do a good job."

Hundley delegates to Brendel during games. "If I see a different front, instead of me having to stop everything to making changes in the blocking, I let Jake handle things," Hundley said.

There is little glamorous about the job. "You're overworked and under-appreciated," Klemm said.

The Bruins' offensive line tradition was almost prehistoric by the time Jim Mora was hired as coach and brought in Klemm.

In the 1990s, two UCLA players won Outland Trophies — given to the nation's top lineman: Ogden in 1995 and Kris Farris in 1998. During that same era, UCLA had Novitsky and Chad Overhauser, who were both named All-Americans. The Bruins also had Flanagan and Parker, who both spent more than a decade in the NFL.