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UCLA picks up first pledge of Chip Kelly era: Tulare High running back Kazmeir Allen

UCLA picks up first pledge of Chip Kelly era: Tulare High running back Kazmeir Allen
New UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly meets with reporters during a news conference on Monday at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

New UCLA football coach Chip Kelly landed his first verbal pledge from a recruit when Kazmeir Allen, a record-setting tailback from Tulare Union High, tweeted that he was committed to the Bruins.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Allen, known for quick bursts of speed, has scored 70 touchdowns this season, breaking the California record of 64 set by Tyler Ebell of Ventura High in 2000.

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Allen has 60 rushing touchdowns, nine receiving touchdowns and one touchdown on a kickoff return with at least one game left to play.

UCLA was not included among the list of six finalists Allen had tweeted out last week, though he included the disclaimer "subject to change." Recruits can sign binding letters of intent during the new early signing period that begins Dec. 20.

UCLA senior associate athletic director Josh Rebholz tweeted that the school had sold nearly 500 new season ticket packages and received "several major donations" since UCLA announced the hiring of Kelly on Saturday.

Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch

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