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A look at UCLA’s four graduate transfers in football

Duke's Brittain Brown (8) pulls away from North Carolina A&T's Najee Reams (20) .
Duke’s Brittain Brown pulls away from North Carolina A&T’s Najee Reams during a 2019 game.
(Karl B DeBlaker / Associated Press)
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Brittain Brown

Position: Running back

Previous school: Duke

Graduate program: Transformative coaching and leadership in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Undergraduate degree: Computer science

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How he got here: Brown rushed for more than 1,000 yards in parts of three seasons at Duke but had chunks of the 2018 and ’19 seasons wiped out by a dislocated shoulder. He opened last season on the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back, but played in only three games before re-injuring his shoulder.

Potential impact: He’s a candidate to become the Bruins’ primary tailback with Josh Kelley now carrying the football for the Chargers. “Hopefully I can do what JK did for UCLA rushing-wise,” Brown said.

Notable: Brown wasn’t seriously considering UCLA upon entering the transfer portal until Thaddeus Lewis, a former Duke quarterback who was the Bruins’ offensive analyst, helped connect him with offensive coordinator Justin Frye and coach Chip Kelly.

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Obi Eboh

Stanford cornerback Obi Eboh reacts in the fourth quarter of a game against California.
Cornerback Obi Eboh
(John Hefti / Associated Press)

Position: Defensive back

Previous school: Stanford

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Undergraduate degree: Management science and engineering

Graduate program: Master’s of legal studies in the UCLA School of Law

How he got here: Eboh was a part-time starter in each of the last two seasons at Stanford, blocking a field goal in 2019 against Oregon State. When Cardinal coach David Shaw told his graduating seniors that they were free to assess their options, Eboh found what he considered the perfect opportunity in UCLA because it kept him in the Pac-12 while allowing him to complete a master’s program that he found enticing.

UCLA has four graduate transfers on its football roster and thanks to an NCAA ruling on eligibility, they could end up playing two seasons for the Bruins.

Potential impact: Eboh’s versatility will allow him to play cornerback or safety as part of the Bruins’ revamped defense that will feature five defensive backs. He said the plan is to run an alignment that closely resembles the 4-2-5 that Navy used under Brian Norwood when UCLA’s new defensive backs coach was the Midshipmen’s co-defensive coordinator. “I kind of know the system already,” Eboh said. “I played it at Stanford, it’s just different words they call different things, a bunch of different terminology.”

Notable: Eboh’s next door neighbor went to school with Antonio Bernardo, the dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. The neighbor connected Eboh with Bernardo, who assessed his interests and pointed him in the direction of Jason Fiske, the executive director of the master in legal studies program at the UCLA School of Law.

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Paul Grattan Jr.

Offensive lineman Paul Grattan Jr.
(Courtesy of Paul Grattan)

Position: Offensive line

Previous school: Villanova

Undergraduate degree: Political science

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Graduate program: Transformative coaching and leadership in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

How he got here: A three-year starter at Villanova, Grattan was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Assn. selection in 2019. The Wildcats gave up only 12 sacks that season, ranking first in the CAA and seventh nationally.

Potential impact: Grattan could be one of the team’s most important additions considering the Bruins lost starting center Boss Tagaloa to graduation and guard Christaphany Murray and tackle Jake Burton to the transfer portal. Grattan can play both center or guard but said he expects that he’ll most likely play guard.

Notable: Grattan was driven to earn a football scholarship after his father, Paul, died from septic pneumonia in 2012 and his mother told him they wouldn’t be able to afford his college tuition.

5

Qwuantrezz Knight

Kent State defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (24) celebrates winning defensive MVP in the Frisco Bowl.
Defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight
(Brandon Wade / Associated Press)

Position: Defensive back

Previous schools: Maryland, Kent State

Undergraduate degree: Integrated studies

Graduate program: Transformative coaching and leadership in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

How he got here: Knight spent the 2019 season at Kent State after transferring from Maryland, where he started his college career. He led the Golden Flashes with 10½ tackles for loss last season and was named defensive most valuable player of the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl. Former UCLA punter Wade Lees, a teammate of Knight’s at Maryland, helped sell Knight on the Bruins by telling him how much he enjoyed his time in Westwood.

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Potential impact: Designated as a “striker” in UCLA’s new nickel defense, Knight will play a lot of cornerback and some safety in a familiar system. “I actually played nickel at Kent State,” Knight said, “so I feel like I feel like I will be able to come in here right away and just fill in with all the knowledge that I have with playing this position.”

Notable: Knight’s given name was a way of his mom letting him know he was unique. His friends call him “Q” or “Trezz.”