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UCLA adds former Ball State RB Carson Steele via transfer portal

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UCLA just added another player from the transfer portal and of potentially great need for their running back room.

Carson Steele, who ranked ninth nationally in rushing yards this past season at Ball State, announced Wednesday morning he was committing to the Bruins.

What’s good LA! #COMMITTED ❤️

— Carson Steele (@carsonsteele30) January 4, 2023

Regarded as one of the top running backs in the transfer portal, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Steele is coming off a season in which he earned All-MAC first-team honors with 1,556 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. He ran for 891 yards as a true freshman.

The Indiana native reportedly chose UCLA over hometown school Purdue.

With two years of eligibility remaining, Steele will look to help fill the void expected to be left by leading rusher Zach Charbonnet. The former Oaks Christian High star, who transferred to UCLA from Michigan two years ago, racked up 2,496 yards and 27 touchdowns in his two seasons in Westwood and is assumed to be leaving for the NFL.

Steele figures to compete with T.J. Harden, who just capped his freshman season out of Inglewood High with a stellar showing in the Bruins’ Sun Bowl loss Dec. 30 with 111 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Keegan Jones, who will be a redshirt senior after rushing for 322 yards and two scores.

UCLA also landed former Army running back Anthony Adkins on Dec. 19, two days before Bruins redshirt junior running back Christian Grubb announced he was entering the transfer portal.

Isaiah Carlson, a 6-2, 220-pound three-star rusher out of Ferndale High in Washington, was the only running back in head coach Chip Kelly’s 2023 recruiting class, which was highlighted by flipping five-star quarterback Dante Moore from Oregon.

The Bruins have now landed their second MAC talent via the transfer portal. On Dec. 18, quarterback Collin Schlee, who had 2,109 passing yards this past season for Kent State, announced he was committing to UCLA.

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