UCLA earns transfer commitment from one of the best running backs available
UCLA may have found its replacement for Zach Charbonnet.
Assuming the standout Bruin opts to forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft (which is expected after Charbonnet sat out the Sun Bowl), the Bruins will have a massive hole in the backfield.
Charbonnet’s 1,359 rushing yards this season led the Pac-12. And he did it in just 10 games. His per-game average placed him fourth nationally. It was also his second consecutive season topping 1,000 yards on the ground — becoming only the ninth Bruin to do that.
After transferring from Michigan prior to the 2021 season, Charbonnet became an instant-impact starter in Chip Kelly’s offense.
And UCLA is hoping it found another in former Ball State running back Carson Steele, who announced his commitment to the Bruins on Wednesday. Steele will have three years to play two at UCLA after starring for Cardinals.
— Carson Steele (@carsonsteele30) January 4, 2023
A 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back, Steele ran for 1,556 yards (the ninth-most among all FBS players) and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 5.4 yards a carry and earned a spot on the All-MAC First Team for his efforts.
He earned a 90.8 rushing grade from Pro Football Focus this season, what was the 14th-best grade among qualified FBS running backs and the sixth-best among Group of Five backs.
As a true freshman, Steele ran for 891 yards and six scores.