The UCLA football team added some insurance to the linebacking corps as former Illinois State OLB Jason Harris is heading to Westwood.
For those that were worried about recruiting and depth, take a deep breathe as UCLA football head coach Chip Kelly has a plan. On Thursday, the Bruins added some depth to their linebackers as former Illinois State outside linebacker Jason Harris has chosen UCLA to continue his playing career.
Harris is the fourth addition to the roster this offseason as P Wade Lees (grad transfer), TE Josh Harris (JUCO transfer), and RB Christian Grubb (late signee) join the 6’6, 240-pound outside linebacker. Harris made his decision after visiting UCLA earlier this week and chose the Bruins over Boston College and Liberty.
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Harris told Bruin Report Online that the coaches were pretty clear about what they want him to do, “get after the quarterback.” UCLA is in desperate need of pass rusher, especially since their lead rushers were injured or left the program.
Currently, Odua Isibor, Elijah Wade and Keisean Lucier-South are the lead candidates to be the primary rusher off the EDGE but the coaches have not found anyone that has stood out.
Additionally, it is unknown what is happening with KLS as he did not participate in the second part of spring practice as he was focusing on academics. Still, bringing in another experienced pass rusher can’t hurt the Bruins.
But can Harris be that guy?
He will have plenty of time to prove it when he gets to Westwood, but his experience gives him an edge (no pun intended) over other Bruins. Harris is a heat-seeking missile. If he finds an opening, he will swoop in and make the big hit. He also has good vision which will help him to pursue the ball carrier, even if they escape the backfield.
And even if he does not bring down the ball carrier or quarterback, he will invade their space and limit their movement. Overall, the Bruins have another active OLB which will help their efforts on defense.
Welcome to Westwood, Jason!