Projected Spring Depth Chart
Are you ready for your close up, Mr. Kelley? No matter what happens with UCLA football this spring, the main attraction will be Joshua Kelley. If he has a 60-run for a touchdown or if he tweaks his ankle or if he has a bad day or if he makes a great block… all of it will draw the attention of Bruins fans and media.
After finishing the 2018 season with 1,243 yards (the first 1,000 yards rusher since Paul Perkins in 2015), Kelley has developed quite the following as he helped spearhead the new Chip Kelly offense. With the variety of schemes and formations Coach Kelly put out on the field, player Kelley did a great job of assimilating into the roles and give the Bruins a fierce running game for the first time in a while.
It seemed to have worked as Kelley had six 100-yard rushing games last season with a record-setting 289 versus USC. So needless to say, there will be a lot of eyes on Kelley between now and August 29 (at Cincinnati).
But what about the rest of the RBs? We will see the full group in fall, but for spring, the Bruins will also have returners Martell Irby and Kazmeir Allen and add grayshirt Keegan Jones. Irby was the second choice when Kelley needed rest and should continue to be UCLA’s north-south runner as he has good vision and strength to get through the gaps.
Allen is a speedster that has yet to fill into his potential. Though he was expected to be one of the top RBs last season, he did pretty well when he was on the field as he ran for 6.3 yards per carry (the most among all UCLA running backs) and had a memorable 70-yard touchdown run against Cincinnati last season. Jones is similar to Allen as he is all about speed. With that in mind, expect faster running plays this spring.