For UCLA football, this transfer thing is becoming old hat. Very old hat.
Back in mid-October, it was reported that a whopping 63 players had left Chip Kelly’s team since November of 2017 for various reasons. As a result, we wrote at the time, not only was the team down a number of scholarship players, but the bulk of those remaining were young and inexperienced — with some 53% of the roster was made up of freshmen alone.
Earlier this month, we noted that an 11th player had entered the portal since that mid-October report. Monday, that number increased to a baker’s dozen as it’s being reported that defensive tackle and Ulysses Aburto and linebacker Jayce Smalley are now listed in the database.
Both players began their careers with UCLA football as walk-ons, Smalley in 2017 and Aburto in 2019.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Smalley played in 12 games the past two seasons. Four of those appearances came this past season.
Aburto took a redshirt for the 2019 season.
The other Bruins to enter the portal recently are:
- Tight end Joshua Harris
- Tight end Matt Lynch (HERE)
- Defensive lineman David Vardanian
- Defensive lineman Marcus Moore
- Offensive lineman Christaphany Murray (HERE)
- Offensive lineman Bryan Weitzman
- Wide receiver Theo Howard (HERE)
- Running back Kenroy Higgins II
- Linebacker Tyree Thompson (HERE)
- Linebacker Je’Vari Anderson
- Linebacker Noah Keeter (HERE)
The most noteworthy of those departures were Howard and Murray. Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2018, while Murray started every game during his two seasons with the Bruins.
Thompson started every game in 2018 but missed all of 2019 due to injury.