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UCLA football says goodbye to 7 players transferring out of program

Senior wide receiver Theo Howard was second for UCLA football with 677 receiving yards in 2018. Howard was limited to one game in 2019, failing to record a single reception before eventually entering the transfer portal in October. (Axel Lopez/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Sam Connon

January 7, 2020 12:42 am

National Signing Day is less than a month away, but the Bruins are still in the midst of major roster turnover.

Seven UCLA football players entered the transfer portal this offseason, and a few are starting to find their new homes. Senior wide receiver Theo Howard announced his intentions to transfer in October, and while he has yet to officially disclose where he is signing, 100% of 247Sports experts are predicting him to pick five-time reigning Big 12 champion Oklahoma.

Howard – who missed most of the first half of the 2019 season with injuries before entering the portal – did not drop a single pass in 2018, racking up a career-high 677 yards his junior year.

Freshman linebacker Noah Keeter did not see the field this fall after committing to UCLA as a three-star recruit last year, and he took the opportunity to jump ship over the winter holiday, committing to Florida on Friday.

Two of Keeter’s fellow linebackers – redshirt senior Tyree Thompson and senior Je’Vari Anderson – remain in the portal. Both Thompson and Anderson were junior college transfers who joined the Bruins prior to the 2018 season.

Thompson will be a graduate transfer after missing the entire 2019 season because of a foot injury he suffered in preseason camps. The Pacoima, California, native ranked fourth on the team with 55 tackles in 2018, and he was expected to hold a starting spot in 2019 barring injury.

UCLA will lose at least five linebackers this offseason, leaving freshman safety-turned-linebacker Carl Jones, sophomore Bo Calvert and redshirt sophomore Leni Toailoa in the position for starting jobs next season.

Tight end Josh Harris announced he would be entering the transfer portal in December. Harris was a junior college transfer who committed to UCLA in May, but he decided to move on from Westwood before ever playing a snap in blue and gold.

Defensive end Marcus Moore was not on UCLA’s roster this season, which would have been his redshirt junior year, and he currently remains in the transfer portal. Moore last played Oct. 13, 2018 against California and recorded 23 total tackles in 17 career appearances.

Running back Kenroy Higgins II joined the Bruins for his freshman year ahead of the 2018 season, but he did not appear in a game that fall. Higgins also competed for the men’s track and field team, but he announced in June that he would be transferring because of a lack of support for his dual-sport career by the football staff.

Overall, the seven Bruins who are leaving the program played a combined four games in 2019.

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Sam Connon | Sports senior staff
Connon is currently a Sports senior staff writer for the football and men's basketball beats. He was the Sports editor for the 2019-2020 academic year, an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, men's soccer, cross country, men's golf and women's golf beats from 2018-2019 and a reporter on the baseball and women's basketball beats from 2017-2018. Connon also contributes movie reviews for Arts & Entertainment and co-hosts Daily Bruin Sports' weekly podcast, "Out of Bounds." Connon is a rising fourth-year Communication student from Winchester, Massachusetts.
Connon is currently a Sports senior staff writer for the football and men's basketball beats. He was the Sports editor for the 2019-2020 academic year, an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, men's soccer, cross country, men's golf and women's golf beats from 2018-2019 and a reporter on the baseball and women's basketball beats from 2017-2018. Connon also contributes movie reviews for Arts & Entertainment and co-hosts Daily Bruin Sports' weekly podcast, "Out of Bounds." Connon is a rising fourth-year Communication student from Winchester, Massachusetts.
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