UCLA Bruins Edge Rusher To Enter Transfer Portal, Leaving Massive Talent Deficit

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The UCLA Bruins had a mass exodus of edge talent leave after the 2023 season. Laiatu Latu and Gabriel and Grayson Murphy have declared for the NFL draft. Carl Jones Jr. and Jake Heimlicher have come to the end of their college careers. Together they represented 95 percent of all snaps taken by edge rushers last season.

It was just confirmed that the other five percent is on his way out the door.  Choe Bryant-Strother had decided to enter the transfer portal when the new term begins on April 15th.

New Bruins head coach DeShaun Foster has taken great strides toward making UCLA a relevant football program since he was hired less than two months ago. This marks the first major blow to his master plan and recruiting effort. Since he was hired he has made a concerted effort to turn UCLA into ‘Recruiting U’ landing two high-profile 2025 prospects.

But 2025 doesn’t help in 2024. Foster will have to turn his attention to the transfer portal to find a replacement for Bryant-Strother.

“That’s most definitely a portal position,” Foster said, “but we’ve still got to develop the guys that we have and I’m excited to see what they can do this spring.’

UCLA Bruins Edge Rusher Coffers Aren’t Empty

NCAA Football: Army at Navy
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The UCLA Bruins already have two fascinating prospects on the roster, Devin Aupiu, who played limited snaps in his three seasons at defensive tackle is now moving to the edge. Former Navy co-captain transfer Jacob Busic had a breakout second season before rupturing his bicep in his third season. He looks to make his final appeal to the NFL with UCLA. Luke Schuermann, Johns Hopkins transfer, looks to angle for some playing time, after good production at the D-III level. He led the Bluejays with 9.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.

More hope is on the way, as well. Miami transfer Collins Acheampong will join the team in the fall making his return from an injury.

UCLA Bruins football commits 2025
UCLA Bruins: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports