UCLA Football Loses Key Defensive Player to Transfer Portal

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the day on Thursday, April 18th, LA Times sports writer, Ben Bolch noted on Twitter that fourth-year defensive lineman, Jay Toia was absent from UCLA Football practice

About an hour later, Toia revealed the explanation as to why he wasn’t at practice. He had decided to enter the transfer portal.

Key UCLA Football Defensive Player Enters Transfer Portal

The 6’3″ 325 lbs Southern California native was poised to take on an even bigger role in the defense in the upcoming season.

Toia had originally enrolled to play football for the USC Trojans, but after a shake-up among the defensive staff, he ended up at UCLA. His original USC recruiter was Vic So’oto, who is currently outside linebackers coach for the California Golden Bears. Of course, there is now a connection at USC in the personage of D’Anton Lynn. UCLA’s 2023 defensive coordinator is now in the same role for USC. Because of this, USC and Cal should be considered front runners to land Toia.

SC has lost several defensive pieces, particularly along the defensive line in the last few days.

Toia has recorded 66 total tackles, 38 solo, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble in 29 games over three seasons. He played in all 26 games over the last two.

On3.com wrote this of Toia: “During his last two seasons with the Bruins, the interior defensive lineman showcased just how dominant he can be in the trenches, which will certainly garner a significant amount of attention while in the transfer portal.”

NCAA Football: UCLA at Southern California
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