The UCLA Bruins saw multiple players transfer this offseason, as is the new norm for college football in 2020. However, fewer teams saw such ‘highly-graded’ players transfer out than UCLA as two former Bruins top the charts among 247Sports’ top-graded transfers this year.
Both Chris Murray and Theo Howard found their way onto the list of top-graded players who transferred to a new school this year, both of whom went to Oklahoma.
Murray was the ‘top-graded offensive lineman’ in the portal and Howard was the top-graded wide receiver. Both received high praise and top mention in the article.
UCLA guard Chris Murray was one of the top offensive linemen in the portal. Ditto receiver Theo Howard. Both transferred to Oklahoma. Murray gets a 91 and Howard gets a 90. Both have had production. Howard is coming off an Achilles injury but the outlook for him in the fall is hopeful.
We knew Howard was out the door awhile back and Murray seemingly figured it out just as quickly. Both ended up at Oklahoma and you have to think that the recent success that Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley has shown with transfers players immediately making an impact (and getting drafted) played into their success.
Famously, Riley has taken in three consecutive transfers quarterbacks and started them en route to great success and high draft picks. Both Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma and won Heisman Trophies and went first overall while former Alabama QB Jalen Hurts made his way to Oklahoma and was a Heisman finalist and a second-round pick.
Now, obviously, neither Murray or Howard play the same position as those three aforementioned players but the Sooners are primed for a great season with Riley at the helm and both have NFL-caliber abilities.
Howard ruptured his Achilles earlier this year but should be a factor in the Oklahoma passing attack this year if all signs continue to be promising for him. Murray, on the other hand, should play right away and fill a large gap on their offensive line. Oklahoma has had multiple players on their offensive line drafted in recent years as well.
Either way, it’s always interested to see Bruins highlighted in outside media, but another thing when it’s the outside media highlighting these players as such highly-graded players who have left the UCLA program.
Regardless, they gave their time to UCLA and we wish them well in their future endeavors (just not if UCLA plays Oklahoma anytime soon, again).