Incoming junior wide receiver J. Michael Sturdivant announced on his Instagram page that he’s returning to Westwood for the UCLA Bruins in the 2024 season. The 6’3, 205-pound Sturdivant is a prototypical pass catcher at the next level, coupled with a repeatedly decisive first step and elite nonlinear agility, JMS could have been one of the absolute steals in the 2024 NFL Draft for those GMs paying close attention.
JMS is coming off a sophomore campaign that netted 36 receptions for 597 yards and four trips to pay-dirt. Rather pedestrian numbers some might say, but as in many facets of life, the statistics were diabolically deceiving.
The Bruins, plagued by an anemic offensive line that was 113th in the country in sacks allowed, coupled with the revolving door at quarterback that saw the men of Westwood play four different signal callers in 2023, hampered JMS’ anticipated development and stifled his production.
UCLA Bruins Star Wide Receiver Announces Return For 2024 Season
A prodigious big play weapon with an explosive burst at the snap, Sturdivant was never able to consistently show off his skills given UCLA’s inability to consistently execute longer pass plays due to a combination of paltry protection and inconsistent quarterbacking judgment.
But with the return of anchor Spencer Holstege on the offensive line (along with hopefully a few more reinforcements via the Transfer Portal) along with the solidification of UCLA’s unquestioned and now seasoned leader, Ethan Garbers, should set up JMS for success in a manner tantalizingly elusive to him during the 2023 campaign.
Sturdivant teased Bruin fans with the art of the possible in both his first and last appearances of the 2023 season. The home opener versus Coastal Carolina along with the LA Bowl against Boise State had JMS go off for nine catches, 278 yards, and two spectacular touchdowns of 62 and 41 yards respectively.
A ridiculous 30.9 yards per reception along with generating nearly 47% of his total season receiving yards in just those two contests alone, is why he’s often been coined the Bruins greatest talent at wide receiver since the legendary JJ Stokes.
Having #1 return as the #1 receiver is yet another much-needed jolt to the offensive verticality, roster refinement, and team momentum for UCLA as they begin their inaugural BIG-10 season later this fall.