UCLA Football: Jay Toia is a monster addition for Bruins

Chip Kelly, UCLA football (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Chip Kelly, UCLA football (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

UCLA football scored a major win on the recruiting trail this week, landing a former Trojan and four-star DT in the transfer portal in Jay Toia. 

The transfer portal is changing college football and one of the best recent examples is the recruitment and transfer of Jay Toia.

Toia signed with USC back in December as a four-star defensive tackle and enrolled early. He played so well this spring for the Trojans that he was projected on their two-deep.

But then, Toia entered the transfer portal and in a strange twist, he will now play the 2021 season for UCLA football instead of its crosstown rival.

It wasn’t the outcome many expected when Toia entered the portal. He was a top-200 recruit and at 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, Toia has game-changing ability. Michigan is in need of defensive tackle help and was supposedly the favorite.

Yet, Toia visited Ann Arbor after visiting UCLA football and despite saying positive things about his trip, the kid from California decided to stay in L.A. and play for the Bruins.

What it means for UCLA football

It’s hard to overstate but this is a major addition for the Bruins. Toia may not come in and start right away for the Bruins, since UCLA has four seniors back at defensive tackle, but he’s a strong bet to earn playing time right away as every team can use a 330-pounder in the middle of the defense.

Here’s what Brian Dohn of 247 sports wrote about the addition:

"“For UCLA to pull in Toia, who has a chance to be an impact DT/NG from day one, is a huge coup. He’s a special talent and was a four-year starter at one of the area’s top high school programs. He was rated among the top 200 players in the country in the ’21 class and was drawing early raves for his play during USC spring practice.”"

The fact is that Toia also would have been the highest-ranked signee in UCLA football’s 2021 recruiting class so for the Bruins to add a player like that, from USC, in the month of June, is an incredible boon.

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Chip Kelly also landed Zach Charbonnet from the transfer portal, a former Michigan player and former top-50 recruit from California. Those two should help the Bruins right away and the loss of Toia, in turn, hurts the Trojans, which is an added benefit for UCLA football.