The Bruins aren’t done reshaping their defensive coaching staff just yet.
According to multiple reports, UCLA football is set to hire Sacramento State safeties coach Kodi Whitfield as its newest cornerbacks coach. The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman was first to report the news, while 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello and Bruin Report Online confirmed soon after.
Whitfield was a graduate assistant for the Bruins from 2020 and 2021.
This marks the second coaching move UCLA has made this offseason, as defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a parted ways with the program on Jan. 9. It remains to be seen if additional changes are coming up, especially since Whitfield’s position appears to overlap with defensive backs coach Brian Norwood’s role.
Whitfield was a wide receiver and strong safety at Stanford from 2012 to 2015, and he played his high school ball at Loyola (CA) in Los Angeles. He only recorded 18 catches and one touchdown for the Cardinal, but that lone score came on an iconic one-handed grab against the Bruins in 2013. As an upperclassman, Whitfield moved to the defensive side of the ball and racked up 53 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and three passes defended his senior year.
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UCLA welcomed Whitfield to Westwood with open arms once coach Chip Kelly took over the program, though. He worked with All-Pac-12 veterans Quentin Lake and Qwuantrezz Knight, as well as younger players like Devin Kirkwood and John Humphrey.
Whitfield left for the Hornets in January 2022, joining the team ahead of their 12-1 campaign. Sacramento State allowed 25.9 points per game this past fall, recording 10 interceptions while giving up 243.0 passing yards per game.
The lone game Sacramento State played against an FBS opponent in 2022 was at Colorado State, and the Rams finished with just 10 points and 178 passing yards.
Whitfield will try to help UCLA turn around its secondary after it ranked in the bottom two of the Pac-12 in passing yards allowed per game for each of the past four seasons.
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