One of the top transfer lineman on the market is coming to Westwood.
Old Dominion offensive tackle Khadere Kounta has committed to UCLA football, he announced Monday on Twitter. Kounta, who has started 27 games for the Monarchs across three seasons of action, entered the transfer portal on Jan. 12.
Kounta has one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.
Kounta is the 14th transfer to commit to the Bruins since the end of the regular season, joining UPenn defensive end Jake Heimlicher, Cal linebacker Oluwafemi Oladejo, Princeton punter Will Powers, Kent State quarterback Collin Schlee, Purdue left guard Spencer Holstege, Army running back Anthony Adkins, Oregon tight end Moliki Matavao, Montana State kicker Blake Glessner, Ball State running back Carson Steele, Bowling Green safety Jordan Anderson, Cal wide receiver J.Michael Sturdivant, College of the Sequoias offensive lineman Caleb Walker and USC wide receiver Kyle Ford.
Only a select few from that list are in position to be a day one starter in Westwood, but Kounta may be one of them.
Former Rutgers transfer Raiqwon O’Neal declared for the 2023 NFL Draft after just one season at UCLA, robbing the Bruins of their starting left tackle. Outside of former Oregon transfer Jaylan Jeffers, the other internal replacement options were largely limited to former walk-ons and guards who would need to overhaul their technique and build, while the biggest additions prior to Kounta were Walker and three-star freshman Tavake Tuikolovatu.
Kounta was a two-star recruit coming out of The Avalon School (MD) in 2019, only earning offers from Old Dominion, Kent State and Temple. His freshman year with the Monarchs, though, he appeared in eight games with seven starters – one at right tackle and six at left tackle.
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After Old Dominion took the 2020 season off, Kounta returned to appear in 13 games and start in eight at left tackle in 2021. Kounta started all 12 games at left tackle in 2022, helping the Monarchs’ run game break records for the second year in a row.
Both Kounta and starting right tackle Garrett DiGiorgio measure in at 6-foot-6 – the former weighs 306 pounds, while the latter weighs 312 – giving the Bruins plenty of length and leverage on the outside.
Depending on how the position battles work out in spring and fall camp, UCLA could have four experienced FBS contributors making up its starting unit up front. Center Duke Clemens is returning to Westwood for his final year of eligibility with 38 appearances and 31 starts under his belt, while DiGiorgio played nearly every snap at right tackle for UCLA in 2022 and Holstege did the same for Purdue at left guard.
The Bruins still have a major question mark remaining at right guard with Jon Gaines II departing for the NFL Draft, but there are still plenty of dominoes left to fall in the transfer portal
Click here to check out All Bruins’ 2023 transfer portal tracker
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