Odua Isibor is the 13th UCLA defensive player to enter the transfer window

06 May 2022 | 08:39

LOS ANGELES – Two weeks ago, UCLA defensive midfielder Odua Isibor spoke to reporters about becoming the team’s leader for his sixth season, adjusting to the new defensive coordinator and the new players. points to improve for the spring game.

Two weeks later – and three days before the spring rollout – Isibor announced that he was leaving the show. Isibor posted on Twitter on Wednesday that he is filling his name in the transfer portal “after a lot of prayer and talking with my family.”

The Phoenix native thanked UCLA for “all the opportunities I have received so far. I thank God that I am fortunate enough to be a part of such an organization. “

Isibor is the second player in line to start in defense to enter the mid-spring transfer window, along with midfielder Caleb Johnson.

Isibor, who is training with the first string in spring practice, is expected to play a key role this season on an already thin defense in the spring, due to leave the NFL draft or transferable players.

Thirteen players from the Bruins defense have entered the transfer window since the end of last season, along with five attacking players and one ball player. The Bruins have also added 11 players through the transfer portal – eight defensive players and three attacking players.

Originally a Jim Mora player, Isibor has been a steady example for coach Chip Kelly, having missed just one game in the past four seasons after changing freshmen in 2017.

“Great player, even better,” sixth-year defender Shea Pitts said on Twitter. “First day at UCLA. Will miss brother, go great. ”

Redshirt defensive midfielder Hayden Harris, who may have a chance to win Isibor’s game time, wrote: “A real OG” – with a tearful emoji.

Johnson himself joined in, citing Isibor’s tweet announcing with a praying hand emoji.

Isibor made two appearances last season but played in all 12, scoring 14 tackles, twice on the ball and once forced fumbling. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound player had three top tackles of the season against Washington and Colorado.

The first opportunity for Kelly is that UCLA has a few more practice sessions this spring to play around with their picks in defense between Martin Andrus Jr., Jay Toia and Quintin Somerville. A pair of transfer schools – Gary Smith III from Duke and Jacob Sykes from Harvard – also remained dormant this spring. ‘

Earlier this spring, Isibor — who completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology — spoke about joining the graduate program in Transformational Leadership and Coaching at UCLA’s School of Education. He says he studied aspects of coaching and studied the technique of legendary coaches like John Wooden and Phil Jackson.

Isibor, who is a seven-time Athletic Director shortlist at UCLA and named to the Pac-12 Fall Academic Honors List in 2020-21, should have plenty to choose from in the transfer portal based his experience and solid academic background.

“My goal is to be the best I can be in whatever I do,” Isibor says.

Future games

UCLA and Northwestern will play a series about families and families in 2033 and 2034, the schools announced this week. The Wildcats will visit the Rose Bowl on September 10, 2033, followed by the Bruins playing in Evanston, Illinois, on September 9, 2034.

The last time the shows went head-to-head was at the 2005 Sun Bowl, UCLA won 50-38, coming back 22 points behind drivers Kahlil Bell and Chris Markley. The Bruins won the last three games in this series, although Northwestern won the first three.

UCLA also announced that UC Davis will play at the Rose Bowl in 2027 on August 28, a week before it welcomes Auburn that year in a Pac-12-SEC game.