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UCLA Football Quarterback Kajiya Hollawayne Enters Transfer Portal After One Season

Hollawayne becomes the ninth Bruin and second UCLA quarterback to enter the portal in the past week.
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A second Bruin signal-caller is set to leave Westwood.

True freshman quarterback Kajiya Hollawayne entered the NCAA transfer portal Tuesday morning after one season with UCLA football (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12). Hollawayne did not see the field at all in his first and only year with the Bruins, and he will depart with four full years of eligibility remaining.

Hollawayne's departure means at least two quarterbacks will be off the roster next season, as Parker McQuarrie entered the portal himself Nov. 30. Should Dorian Thompson-Robinson leave for the NFL Draft, that would make it three quarterbacks leaving the program in one offseason.

UCLA has now had nine players enter the portal and Hollawayne is only the second who is originally from California, joining cornerback Shamar Martin. The other players who are leaving the program are McQuarrie, edge rusher Myles Jackson, defensive lineman AJ Campbell, punter Luke Akerssafety DJ Warnelldefensive lineman Tyler Kiehne and offensive lineman Beau Taylor.

Hollawayne went to San Jacinto (CA) for high school. According to Rivals and the 247Sports Composite, he was a three-star recruit coming into college, but ESPN had him pegged at four stars.

ESPN had Hollawayne as the No. 12 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2021, while the 247Sports Composite had him as the No. 45 quarterback and Rivals did not have him ranked at the position. Hollawayne was a consensus top-80 player in California and top-10 quarterback in the state.

Hollawayne was also considering Fresno State, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Northwestern and San Diego State before committing to the Bruins on June 5, 2020. 

Once Hollawayne arrived at UCLA, however, he did not see the field and sometimes didn't even get to play his true position in practice. With six quarterbacks on the depth chart, Hollawayne and McQuarrie would often wear scout team jerseys that aligned with receivers or tight ends on opposing teams. The pair still got to sling it in warmups, but they only ever got significant time as scout team quarterbacks when Thompson-Robinson and Chase Griffin were both injured in late October.

Hollawayne joined the Bruins for spring camp in April, and the 6-foot-4, 210-pound freshman immediately showed he was physically capable of playing quarterback at the college level. While the throws he made in spring and fall camps were sometimes errant – nothing unexpected for a young quarterback – he had flashes and still seems to be a solid prospect overall. 

During the portion of Sunday's practice open to the media, Hollawayne was not present.

There are two quarterbacks committed to coming to Westwood next season – highly-touted Justyn Martin and preferred walk-on JP Zamora, who is actually still a three-star recruit, according to 247Sports. In order to have a six-man quarterback room again, UCLA would likely have to add another in this recruiting class – which seems unlikely at the moment – or add someone on the transfer market.

The Bruins have been tied to Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler and UCF's Dillon Gabriel, both of whom are currently in the transfer portal themselves and could compete with Ethan Garbers for the starting job should Thompson-Robinson leave for the pros.

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.

That figure maxes out at 32, however, and with nine players in the transfer portal, the Bruins are at the point where they cannot replace additional departures should any more players declare their intentions to leave the program.

Catch up on all the transfer market news related to UCLA at All Bruins' transfer portal tracker.

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