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UCLA football’s Quentin Lake to pursue 2022 NFL Draft

UCLA football senior defensive back Quentin Lake celebrates with his teammates. Lake declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday. (Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)

By Bryan Palmero

Jan. 7, 2022 7:19 p.m.

For the third time this week, the Bruins are losing a player to the professional ranks.

UCLA football senior defensive back Quentin Lake announced on social media Friday evening that he intends to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. Following redshirt junior wide receiver Kyle Philips’ and redshirt junior tight end Greg Dulcich’s back-to-back announcements Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, Lake will forgo his extra year of eligibility granted to all NCAA Division I student-athletes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With a lot of thought and prayer I have decided to take my talents to the next level and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft,” Lake wrote in his statement on Twitter.

As a then-rising sophomore, Lake succeeded Jaleel Wadood as the Bruins’ starting free safety in the 2018 season after the latter opted to go pro. Registering a start in all 12 contests that year, Lake tallied 67 tackles and two interceptions.

The Irvine product would go on to play four games in his junior year after sustaining a wrist injury. After starting five more games in the 2020 season, Lake broke out in 2021.

Aside from a missed contest versus Stanford, Lake started every contest for the Bruins in 2021, finishing in a tie for the team lead in interceptions with three, including one in the team’s Victory Bell-reclaiming triumph over USC on Nov. 20.

“As a kid, you can only dream of opportunities like these,” Lake wrote.

Lake’s senior year culminated in a second-team All-Pac-12 nod and an invite to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which is scheduled to take place Jan. 29. It is unclear whether the defensive back plans to compete in the annual bowl event.

“I want to thank (former UCLA) coach (Jim) Mora and staff for giving me the opportunity to come to UCLA,” Lake wrote. “I want to thank Coach (Chip) Kelly, Coach (Brian) Norwood, and everyone on the UCLA football staff for pushing me and allowing me to grow into the young man that I am today.”

Lake joins redshirt seniors Qwuantrezz Knight, Obi Eboh and Cameron Johnson as one of three Bruin defensive backs to announce their intention to declare for the draft. The move still leaves UCLA’s secondary with senior defensive back Jay Shaw – who earlier this week announced that he intends to use his extra year of eligibility with the blue and gold next season.

With 10 days remaining to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft, UCLA is waiting on a decision from senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson – who has a final year of eligibility remaining.

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Bryan Palmero | Assistant Sports editor
Palmero is currently an assistant Sports editor on the softball, beach volleyball, women's volleyball, men's volleyball and men's golf beats. He was previously a contributor on the beach volleyball and women's volleyball beats.
Palmero is currently an assistant Sports editor on the softball, beach volleyball, women's volleyball, men's volleyball and men's golf beats. He was previously a contributor on the beach volleyball and women's volleyball beats.
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