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UCLA football’s Jake Burton reportedly enters NCAA transfer portal

UCLA football rising redshirt senior offensive lineman Jake Burton (left) entered the NCAA transfer portal. He started every game for the Bruins at right tackle last season and started 11 games in 2018. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Sam Connon

Aug. 25, 2020 11:02 a.m.

This post was updated Aug. 25 at 1:18 p.m.

The first Bruin to jump ship is also one of its most experienced starters.

Rising redshirt senior offensive lineman Jake Burton has entered the transfer portal, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported Tuesday morning. Burton has started 23 of UCLA football’s last 24 games at right tackle, holding down the job amid the program’s resurgence on the ground through the past two seasons.

Burton will be targeting SEC and ACC schools, according to a tweet from the Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch, as he hopes to take the field in the fall. The Pac-12 and Big Ten delayed their fall seasons until Jan. 1 at the earliest, while the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and others will be kicking off their campaigns in September.

Although he is already in his fifth year at UCLA, Burton was one of thousands of fall sport student-athletes given an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA Division 1 Council’s blanket waiver Friday. This decision by the council would allow Burton to play in 2021 if he is ruled ineligible for the fall 2020 season in the coming weeks.

Despite coming to Westwood as a defensive lineman, Burton was set to be the most experienced offensive lineman on the roster when the Bruins did eventually take the field in the spring. Burton boasted the fourth-highest Pro Football Focus grade in 2019 among returning Pac-12 tackles, and he was an honorable mention for PFF’s all-conference team as well.

Burton helped pave the way for running back Joshua Kelley, who racked up 25 touchdowns and over 2,500 yards from scrimmage over the last two seasons. UCLA also posted five straight games with 200-plus team rushing yards in 2019, a feat the team hadn’t accomplished since 1978.

With Burton in the portal, Kelley on the Los Angeles Chargers, guard Christaphany Murray at Oklahoma and center Boss Tagaloa graduated, coach Chip Kelly and offensive coordinator Justin Frye will have a completely overhauled running game in the spring, should there be a season at all.

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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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