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Defensive Lineman AJ Campbell Becomes Second UCLA Football Player to Enter Transfer Portal

The Bruins have now had two front seven underclassmen announce their intensions to leave the program this week.
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Another member of the Bruins' front seven is set to leave the program.

Defensive lineman AJ Campbell will transfer out of UCLA football (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12), he announced via his Twitter on Monday. Campbell had just appeared in his first game of the season Saturday night in the Bruins' 42-14 win over Cal.

Campbell was a true freshman in 2021 and, having appeared in just one game, still has four years of eligibility remaining.

Edge rusher Myles Jackson was the first UCLA player to enter the portal this season, announcing his decision to leave Sunday.

Campbell, who went to Copley HS (OH) in Akron, Ohio, got his initial scholarship offer from the Bruins on Dec. 5. The defensive lineman was committed to Vanderbilt at the time, but he decommitted on Dec. 9 and committed to UCLA on Dec. 14, two days before he made things official at the start of the Early Signing Period.

Coming out of high school, Campbell was the No. 924 recruit and No. 50 edge rusher in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. Campbell was one of eight defensive linemen in UCLA's 2021 recruiting class, and he was the sixth-highest rated of that bunch.

Buried on the depth chart behind veterans Datona Jackson, Odua Isibor, Otito Ogbonnia and Tyler Manoa, Campbell was left to compete for reserve time on the interior after moving to that position from the edge spot he played through high school. He wouldn't find time there, though, as Campbell was beat out by fellow freshmen Jay Toia and Tiaoalii Savea for playing time this fall.

Coach Chip Kelly was asked about roster management and scholarship allotment during his regular press conference last Wednesday, and he predicted that this past Sunday was going to mark an opening of the floodgates for players entering the transfer portal.

"I think (the transfer portal) is going to blow up on Sunday, because every FBS school will be done playing on Sunday – the only schools left playing are going to be playing in the championship games," Kelly said. "But there’s been numerous schools that have had seven, eight, nine players go in during the season, so I would imagine every school is going to have kids go in after the season because the one thing that the student-athletes understand now is that they’re instantly eligible."

Jackson left on Sunday, with Campbell less than 24 hours behind. 

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