Coach Mora and staff are wrapping up the first of their final three official recruiting weekends of this season, but tonight's Bruin football news involves a transfer joining the program rather than one of the two uncommitted recruits announcing a decision. University of Miami offensive tackle Malcolm Bunche has announced that he will be transferring to UCLA to play his redshirt senior season.
Miami offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche told Scout tonight that he'll be playing his senior year at UCLA: http://t.co/SqWZGJacb5— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) January 20, 2014
Miami transfer offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche has committed to #UCLA, a source tells me. Will be eligible right away at UCLA.— Edward Lewis (@EdwardLewisBSR) January 20, 2014
Bunche (no relation) announced his intent to transfer out of Coral Gables last week, surprising fans and observers of the Miami program who expected him to be a key part of the 2014 Hurricane team - he started for most of the 2012 season, but played sparingly last fall. Jordan Lasley actually inadvertently broke the news of his visit last night via instagram, but as Malcolm had been given his release by UM Coach Al Golden, there was nothing improper with his trip. Malcolm falls under the NCAA's graduate transfer rule; having earned his degree from Miami, he will enroll in graduate-level classes at UCLA and will be eligible to play immediately, using his one remaining year of eligibility this coming fall.
At 6'7, 327lbs, he has the size to make an impact next fall. Now that the Hurricanes have made it through the worst of their NCAA troubles and Al Golden has passed up what many had thought to he his dream job at Penn State, Miami would seem to be a decent place to play, especially for a someone already having 4 years in their program. But he feels that Coaches Mora and Klemm will better help him succeed in his final collegiate season and put him in the best position for a professional future. As his father told the Miami Herald:
His father, Curtis Bunche, told the Miami Herald that Malcolm was given a "mid-grade" projection by the NFL Draft Advisory Board, but that his son wants to get more playing experience on the college level.
Curtis Bunche said his son loves UM line coach Art Kehoe but told his father, " ‘Pops, I want to see what it's like at a bigger university.' "
To be honest, a father's word of how his son might have graded out according to unnamed scouts is probably not a definitive guide to his talent. But other signs point to Malcolm being a valuable addition to our team.
I really like this transfer - as well as our freshmen on the O-line played last fall considering their inexperience, they are still guys that will have only had one year of significant coaching and a real S&C program. Along with the questionable statuses of Simon Goines and Torian White, the line tilts heavily toward youth - talented but still young. Bringing in a player with 4 years of experience in another major program is a big deal, and a significant boost to the offense heading into what could be a very special year in Westwood and at the Rose Bowl. And as a graduating Senior, he will free up a highly valuable scholarship for the 2015 class, by which time last fall's monster O-line recruiting class should be fully ready to contribute.
Welcome to Westwood Malcolm, and...