Miami football building transfer pipeline from UCLA

Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program is building a transfer pipeline from UCLA. Linebacker Caleb Johnson became the fourth transfer from UCLA to Miami since 2019. Johnson announced his decision to join the Hurricanes on Friday. Defensive end Mitchell Agude transferred to Miami from UCLA last month.

The Miami football team added defensive tackle Chigozie Nnoruka and edge rusher Jaelan Phillips in 2019. Nnoruka played in 13 games and had 12 tackles and one tackle for loss in 2019. Phillips sat out in 2019 because of the then redshirt rules requiring non-graduate transfers to sit out a season.

Phillips had 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, four pass breakups and an interception. Following the season, Phillips earned several first and second-team All-America honors and was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award for the best defensive player in college football. Phillips was a 2021 first-round pick of the Dolphins.

Phillips set the Dolphins’ rookie record last season with 8.5 sacks and added 42 tackles and nine TFLs. The success that Phillips had with Miami played a role in Agude transferring to Miami. Agude mentioned Phillips in announcing his decision to transfer to Miami. Johnson is the 10th transfer added to the 2022 Miami roster.

In two seasons at UCLA, Agude had 78 tackles, 14.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, three PBUs, one fumble recovery and six forced fumbles. Johnson had 89 tackles, seven TFLs, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, three PBUs and one fumble recovery in his two seasons with UCLA. Agude should have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Johnson has one season of eligibility remaining. The similar climates and being located in big metropolitan areas are common traits for Miami and UCLA. Miami and UCLA also both play at stadiums off-campus. UCLA plays home games at the Rose Bowl which is over 25 miles from its Westwood campus.

dark. Next. Miami adds UCLA transfer LB Caleb Johnson

That is more than the nearly 20 miles Miami has to travel from campus to Hard Rock Stadium. Agude and Johnson are expected to immediately compete to become starters this fall. Miami needs improvement from its pass rush and LB play in 2022. The additions of Agude and Johnson should be upgrades.