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Army Transfer Running Back Anthony Adkins Commits to UCLA Football

The power back took the 2022 season off, but he is set to make his return to college football when he joins the Bruins in 2023.
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The Bruins have added a key veteran to their backfield.

Former Army running back Anthony Adkins verbally committed to UCLA football, the ball-carrier announced Monday on Twitter. Adkins entered the NCAA transfer portal in April after three seasons with the Black Knights, and he has three years of eligibility remaining.

Adkins first announced his commitment at 4:30 p.m., but deleted his initial tweet within the hour. He came out with a new tweet with an official commitment graphic from the Bruins’ recruiting staff at 6:20 p.m..

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound ball-carrier was also being pursued by Washington, Wisconsin, Cal and a few Group of Five programs. Adkins took a visit to Westwood in November, though, attending the UCLA-USC game at the Rose Bowl, and it didn't take him long to move into advanced talks with the Bruins' staff after that.

Adkins is the sixth transfer to commit to UCLA since the end of the regular season, joining UPenn edge rusher Jake Heimlicher, Cal linebacker Oluwafemi Oladejo, Princeton punter Will Powers, Kent State quarterback Collin Schlee and Purdue left guard Spencer Holstege.

Coming out of high school, Adkins was a three-star prospect with additional offers from Georgia State, Air Force, Bowling Green, Louisville, Western Kentucky and William & Mary.

Adkins appeared in 25 games for Army from 2019 to 2021, rushing for 693 yards and 10 touchdowns on 136 carries. The Hodgenville, Kentucky, native was able to produce that much despite only being the fifth option in the backfield because of the Black Knights' famed reliance on the ground attack.

After rushing for 302 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, Adkins rushed for 355 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. Adkins sat out the 2022 season while in the transfer portal.

The best games of Adkins' career came when he went for 70 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries against Abilene Christian in 2020, when he went for 101 yards and a touchdown on eight carries against UT San Antonio in 2020 and when he went for 93 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries against Wake Forest in 2021. That performance against the Demon Deacons included a 71-yard touchdown in what turned out to be a 70-56 loss.

Adkins does not have a reception in his collegiate career, and he played a solid amount of fullback at Army.

UCLA has relied heavily on transfer running backs ever since coach Chip Kelly took over in 2018, starting with Joshua Kelley, who came over from UC Davis. After Kelley came Duke's Brittain Brown in 2020, and Michigan's Zach Charbonnet arrived in 2021.

That trio has accounted for roughly two thirds of the team's running back carries, yards and touchdowns over the past five seasons, with Demetric Felton standing out as the only homegrown ball-carrier to put up consistent numbers under Kelly, and even he was a late conversion from receiver.

Kelley left after 2019, Felton left after 2020, Brown left after 2021 and Charbonnet is likely NFL-bound this offseason. That will leave a production vacuum in UCLA's backfield, and it is one that Adkins will help fill next fall.

Class of 2023 four-star Roderick Robinson II was in position to play a part in replacing Charbonnet as well, but he decommitted in October and joined Georgia's recruiting class instead. Three-star Ferndale (WA) product Isaiah Carlson committed to the Bruins on Dec. 4, but it remains to be seen if he is a day-one contributor.

Like Adkins, Carlson is a prototypical power back at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. That duo will join rising sophomore TJ Harden – who comes in at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds – and rising redshirt senior Colson Yankoff – a 6-foot-4, 210-pound former quarterback and wide receiver – in UCLA's 2023 running back stable.

Receiving back Keegan Jones leads returning Bruins in carries and yards, while Deshun Murrell and Christian Grubb also got some playing time in 2022.

Click here to check out All Bruins' 2023 transfer portal tracker

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