UCLA Football Star Laden Coaching Staff Biggest Reason Bruins Landed 4-Star Offensive Tackle: “They’re guys who want to win, who want to change the perception of UCLA”

UCLA Football Transfer
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Reuben Unije joined the Bruin Bible podcast this week to talk about his experience since transferring to UCLA football earlier this year. Host, Will Decker, asked about Unije’s decision-making process when choosing a new school after entering the transfer portal resulting in enrolling at UCLA.

Unije’s Reason For Picking UCLA Football

“I saw Eric Bienemy was the offensive coordinator. Juan Castillo was the o-line coach. I knew as an offensive player, it was a no-brainer for me. I was in my last season of college football, what more can I want than to get stamped by two legends in the game. From the coaching standpoint with Eric and Juan Castillo it’s the perfect way to finish off my college career; Maximize my potential and have the cosign of two very well-known ex-NFL coaches.”

The 6’5″ 305 lbs tackle played his first four seasons with Houston before making the leap into the transfer portal and choosing UCLA. He was also recruited while in the portal by Ohio State, South Carolina, and Washington.

NCAA Football: Texas at Houston
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Eric Bienemy was most recently the offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders and served in the same role for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2018 to 2022, winning two Super Bowls. His coaching career started nearly 25 years ago including a stint with UCLA as running backs coach from 2003-2004.

Juan Castillo also joined the new coaching staff under DeShaun Foster early in 2024. His coaching career spans over 40 years serving several NFL and college teams in that time. He worked with Bienemy at Washington last season.

Offensive tackle was among the Bruins’ top priorities for improvement from last season. UCLA gave up 42 sacks last season, the 12th most in college football.

Praise For Coaching Staff From Reuben Unije

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-UL Lafayette at Houston
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“From the moment, I stepped foot on campus from Coach Foster to Coach Bieniemy to Coach Castillo, it was all love. It was all good energy. It was all talking football, talking family. We’re just ready to get to business, ready to get to work. Me and Coach Castillo was talking football from the moment I came there to the moment I left.”

“I love it, man. They don’t shy away from any questions. They’re guys who want to win, who want to change the perception of UCLA. Foster wants to have UCLA playing the best football it has in the past 20 years. I definitely love what they have going on. I love the energy that they brought to me.”

NCAA Football: Oregon at UCLA
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