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UCLA Football Starting Punter Luke Akers Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

The Bruins will have to find a new punter for their upcoming bowl game with Akers set to leave the program.

Another Bruin has entered the transfer portal, this one being a special teamer.

UCLA football (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) punter Luke Akers announced he will entering the transfer portal on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Akers has been the Bruins' starting punter for two seasons, and he was averaging 43.1 yards per punt on 34 punts this year.

Akers played full seasons in both 2020 and 2021, but since the NCAA granted an additional year of eligibility to everyone who played in the COVID-19-shortened season last year, Akers still has three years left to play wherever he ends up next.

Akers becomes the third player on the team to enter the portal this week, following in the footsteps of edge rusher Myles Jackson and defensive lineman AJ Campbell.

UCLA has not had another player attempt a punt in the last two seasons, and no one on the roster has ever attempted a punt in-game. There is not another true punter listed on the active roster, leaving kickers Nicholas Barr-Mira, RJ Lopez and Ari Liibenson as the potential fill-ins come the bowl game, barring any drastic position changes from someone else.

None of those three players are on scholarship, as Akers was the only kicker or punter on scholarship this season.

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Coming out of Ravenwood HS (TN), Akers was ranked as the No. 3 kicker in the country according to the 247Sports Composite. Akers never got to attempt a field goal or extra point while at UCLA, however, and was used exclusively as a punter.

Akers, the son of former NFL Pro Bowl kicker David Akers, has attempted 58 punts in his career at UCLA with an average distance of 43.1. He has placed 20 punts inside the 20 and has had one attempt blocked.

UCLA recently offered class of 2022 punter Chase Barry, who made his second visit to the Rose Bowl on Saturday for the Bruins' regular season finale against Cal. Barry is the only kicker or punter who currently has an offer from UCLA in this year's recruiting cycle.

With three outgoing transfers to this point, the Bruins will now be allowed to add as many as 28 scholarship players to their roster for next season – three over the regular cycle limit. For every additional transfer who leaves, UCLA will be permitted to go one more scholarship above the threshold.

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