UCLA linebacker Caleb Johnson enters transfer portal
Another member of UCLA’s defense is entering the transfer portal.
Caleb Johnson, a senior inside linebacker for the Bruins, announced he has put his name in the transfer portal. After arriving at UCLA prior to the 2020 season by way of the junior college ranks, Johnson will be looking for a new home to play his final season of ball.
I’ve decided to enter my name in the Transfer Portal! Thank you UCLA for the opportunity. Thank you to my teammates and coaches and all the fans! pic.twitter.com/x6uVBlnC0n
— Caleb Johnson (@CalebJohnsun) April 8, 2022
It’s another blow to a Bruin defense that has suffered several departures—either by way of the portal or NFL Draft declarations—since the 2021 season ended. That list includes defensive linemen Otito Ogbonnia and Tiaoalii Savea, edge rusher Mitchell Agude, linebackers Myles Johnson and AJ Campbell, striker Qwuantrezz Knight, and defensive backs Jay Shaw and Quentin Lake.
Johnson started 17 of a possible 19 games over the last two seasons since arriving from Fullerton College. He led the Bruins in tackles during the 2020 season (44) and posted seven tackles for loss with 5.5 sacks en route to a second-team All-Pac-12 nod from the AP. He had the sixth-most tackles on the defense last season (45) but didn’t register a single one in the opposing backfield.
But change has been the primary agent of the offseason for the Bruin defense, and departures so far have been met with additions all the same. UCLA is working under a new defensive coordinator and a largely new defensive staff, so departures were to be expected.
New DC Bill McGovern and the Bruin defense have so far seen additions of defensive linemen Gary Smith (Duke) and Jacob Sykes (Harvard); edge rushers in Laiatu Latu (Washington) and the Murphy twins from North Texas, Grayson and Gabriel; inside linebacker Darius Muasau (Hawaii); and cornerbacks Jaylin Davies (Oregon) and Azizi Hearn (Wyoming).