After UCLA went 9-4 last season, the Bruins embarked on an interesting offseason. With the loss of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and a changing of the guard at defensive coordinator, the spring started with plenty of new faces on campus.
Integrating all the newcomers was a big part of UCLA’s spring program, according to head coach Chip Kelly.
The Bruins have 16 commits coming in from the high school ranks and 13 via the transfer portal. In addition, they have a new defensive coordinator coming aboard in D’Anton Lynn after two years with the Baltimore Ravens. That means the big focal point of the spring was acquainting them with each other, and Kelly said that process began in January.
Prior to the last spring practice, Kelly sounded happy with where things stood.
“Really, it was just to introduce all the new guys,” Kelly said. “And I think they’ve really acclimated really, really well here. It started in January with the offseason program that [director of football performance Keith Belton] runs, and they kind of hit the ground running from that standpoint. So it was kind of a seamless transition as we transition from the running and lifting program into actual on-field football stuff. It’s been really good.
“We’ve been really healthy throughout the entire spring with one to go here, knock on wood that we’ll get through this one. But we’ve got a lot of work done, and it’s been really good, obviously, bringing D’Anton in. Instituted some new things defensively and just how he does things, I think our defensive players picked up really well on that. Then, plugging in the new faces on the offensive side of the ball, it’s been good. We’ve been really pleased with everything that’s gone on in the last 14 training sessions.”
UCLA added some impressive talent this offseason
UCLA’s recruiting class — ranked No. 32 in the nation, according to the On3 Industry Team Recruiting Ranking — is headlined by quarterback Dante Moore. Moore was a Five Star Plus+ recruit, meaning he was one of the only players ranked by all four major recruiting media companies as a five-star. He was also the No. 3-ranked prospect in the nation and the No. 2 quarterback from the 2023 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.
UCLA also made a splash in the portal by bringing in J.Michael Sturdivant, the former Cal wide receiver who was the No. 10-ranked transfer to hit the portal this cycle, according to the On3 Transfer Portal Rankings. He was one of 13 transfers UCLA has coming in, including former Ball State running back Carson Steele.
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