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Former UCLA quarterback Austin Burton is headed to Purdue

UCLA quarterback Austin Burton runs out of the pocket against Oregon State during the first half on Oct. 5, 2019, at the Rose Bowl.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press )

Former UCLA backup quarterback Austin Burton is transferring to Purdue, he confirmed Monday, in a move that will allow him to compete for the starter’s job next season as a graduate transfer.

Stuck behind counterpart Dorian Thompson-Robinson on the Bruins’ depth chart, Burton will try to edge redshirt sophomore Jack Plummer, junior Aidan O’Connell and incoming freshman Michael Alaimo at Purdue. Plummer started six games last season and O’Connell three for the Boilermakers, whose 4-8 record was identical to UCLA’s.

Burton will have two more years of eligibility remaining.

UCLA football coach Chip Kelly says if it’s not safe for fans to attend games because of COVID-19, then it’s not safe for players to participate.

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Burton backed up Thompson-Robinson last season, making a start against Oregon State when Thompson-Robinson was sidelined by injury. Burton completed 27 of 41 passes for 236 yards in that loss to the Beavers and was effective throughout the season in his limited playing time, completing 68.8% of his passes for 365 yards and one touchdown without an interception. He also ran for 100 yards and a touchdown in 23 carries.

Burton’s departure leaves Washington transfer Colson Yankoff as the top backup to Thompson-Robinson, who is the only quarterback on UCLA’s roster who has thrown a pass at the college level. Top high school recruit Parker McQuarrie is expected to arrive this summer and could push Yankoff in the race to become the Bruins’ No. 2 quarterback.


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