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Defensive Lineman Tyler Kiehne Enters NCAA Transfer Portal After One Season

The former top recruit out of New Mexico did not get any playing time with the Bruins as a true freshman.
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Another member of the Bruins' front seven will be continuing his collegiate career elsewhere.

Defensive lineman Tyler Kiehne has decided to enter the transfer portal and leave UCLA football (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) after one season, he announced on Twitter Wednesday morning. Kiehne did not appear in a single game in his true freshman year this fall and therefore has four full seasons of eligibility remaining.

Kiehne's decision to leave the program comes immediately following defensive line coach Johnny Nansen's departure, with the news coming out Wednesday morning that Nansen would become the next defensive coordinator at Arizona.

Kiehne becomes the sixth Bruin to enter the portal this week, joining edge rusher Myles Jackson, defensive lineman AJ Campbell, punter Luke Akers and quarterback Parker McQuarrie and safety DJ Warnell. All six of the players who have entered the NCAA transfer portal this week were initially out-of-state recruits. Kiehne is from New Mexico, while Warnell is from Texas, Jackson is from Georgia, Campbell is from Ohio, Akers is from Tennessee and McQuarrie is from New Hampshire, and they all began their careers in Westwood during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of those players saw some game action this year, and others were even starters, but Kiehne was restricted to the sidelines in his one season in Westwood.

Kiehne was the lowest-rated player in UCLA's 18-man 2021 freshman class, according to the 247Sports Composite. He was a three-star prospect, the No. 153 defensive lineman in the country and the No. 1 overall recruit out of New Mexico. As a junior at Los Lunas HS (NM) in 2019, Kiehne recorded 56 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, a blocked punt and a blocked field goal.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound lineman also had offers from Arizona, Boise State, Cal, Kansas, Kansas State, Washington State, Wisconsin and Utah coming out of high school. Kiehne committed to, signed with and enrolled at UCLA during the extended COVID-19 recruiting dead period, barring him from officially seeing campus between his June 2019 visit and moving in nearly two years later.

The technical rules in terms of scholarships and transfers are complicated enough in a normal year, but with super seniors still a thing and COVID-19 eligibility extensions being granted across the country, it gets even more messy. Essentially, schools are allowed to add up to 25 new scholarship players each cycle, but that number goes up for every outgoing transfer, so UCLA now has 31 scholarships to dish out to incoming freshmen, transfers and super seniors if it wants to.

That figure maxes out at 32, however, so if the Bruins have one more player declare their intentions to leave the program, they will not be able to replace any additional departures after that.

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