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UPenn Transfer DE Jake Heimlicher Commits to UCLA Football

The Bruins have earned their first transfer commit of the cycle in the form of one of the Ivy League's top pass rushers.
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Less than a week after sending him an offer, the Bruins have reeled in their first transfer commit of the cycle.

Defensive end Jake Heimlicher has verbally committed to UCLA football, the UPenn transfer announced Tuesday night on Twitter. Heimlicher, who has one year of collegiate eligibility remaining, entered the portal on Nov. 21 and picked up an offer from the Bruins on Nov. 23.

Heimlicher had additional offers from Ohio, UNC Charlotte and Fresno State.

UCLA earned a commitment from Harvard defensive lineman Jacob Sykes ahead of the 2022 campaign, and he was arguably the team's most consistent presence on the interior this season. Heimlicher is a different player coming from a different system, but it makes since why coach Chip Kelly and his staff would want to return to that well-educated well for another veteran.

Heimlicher arrived at Penn in 2018 and redshirted his freshman year. After recording 14 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack in 2019, all Ivy seasons were canceled in 2020. The edge rusher returned with a vengeance in 2021, racking up 51 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries en route to an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention spot.

The 2022 season went even better for Heimlicher, who made the All-Ivy First Team and All-Academic Team. Heimlicher was named a finalist for FCS National Defensive Player of the Year after recording an Ivy League-best 9.0 sacks to go along with 47 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, an interception, a forced fumble and 10 quarterback hurries.

Coming out of high school, Heimlicher had offers from Cal, Colorado, Wyoming, Hawaii, Air Force, Brown, Princeton, Montana State and Northern Colorado. The Regis Jesuit High School (CO) product was a two-star recruit and the No. 11 prospect in Colorado, according to 247Sports.

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UCLA had its defensive line gutted by graduation and transfers following the 2021 season, but there could be some more holdovers heading into 2023. The only edge rusher who is out of eligibility is fifth-year outside linebacker Bo Calvert.

The Bruins will have to wait and see what Gabriel and Grayson Murphy, Laiatu Latu and Carl Jones do in the offseason, though, as well as any underclassmen who could flirt with the transfer portal themselves.

UCLA has already lost three players to the transfer portal this fall, starting with offensive linemen Tyler Manoa and Baraka Beckett back in October. Walk-on quarterback Chase Artopoeus entered the portal himself earlier on Tuesday, robbing the Bruins of their scout team quarterback.

The portal does not officially open until Dec. 5, but there are some exceptions with graduate transfers such as Heimlicher, Manoa, Beckett and Artopoeus.

UCLA lost 21 players to the portal last offseason, but brought in 14 – including the Murphy twins and Latu. The Bruins could be in for another active transfer cycle this offseason, and it officially began with the addition of Heimlicher and subtraction of Artopoeus on Tuesday.

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