Sophomore punter Sean Covington is no longer with the UCLA football program, as first reported by Bruin Report Online.
The report was unclear as to why Covington, slated to start for the second-year running, left.
Junior college punter Matt Mengel has committed to UCLA, and should be the Bruins’ starting punter come opening day.
The 6-foot-3, 220 pound Mengel attended Long Beach City College the last two seasons, and will enter UCLA as a junior. He will enter as a preferred walk-on, allowing him to compete immediately.
A Kohl’s Football Kicking Camps, Punting Camps and Snapping Camps scouting report, released after Mengel attended the December Showcase Camp in 2013, said “(Mengel’s) leg strength is rare … his talent should make him a D1 specialist in some program in the coming years, ball explodes off his foot, very fast leg speed, consistency is solid not spectacular.”
Mengel’s addition appears to be a savvy pickup for the program after the sudden, unexpected departure of Covington, who was honorable mention all-conference last year, averaging 41.9 yards per punt. He also split kickoff duties with junior kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn last season.
Coming into UCLA, Covington was rated as a three-star recruit and the nation’s No. 3-ranked punter by scout.com.
UCLA begins training camp Monday, Aug. 4 at Cal State University, San Bernardino and the regular season Saturday, Aug. 30 at Virginia.
Compiled by Chris Kalra, Bruin Sports senior staff