Running back Zach Charbonnet is coming home, transferring from Michigan to UCLA

Michigan's Zach Charbonnet breaks away from Minnesota's Benjamin St-Juste for a 70-yard touchdown run on Oct. 24, 2020.
Running back Zach Charbonnet breaks away from Minnesota defensive back Benjamin St-Juste for a 70-yard touchdown run for Michigan on Oct. 24.
(Bruce Kluckhohn / Associated Press)

Zach Charbonnet is coming home.

The running back who is a native of Camarillo and starred at Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village before spending two seasons at Michigan announced Saturday on Twitter that he is transferring to UCLA.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Charbonnet adds to the Bruins’ stockpile of quality running backs, giving them a proven complement to returning graduate transfer Brittain Brown and incoming freshman Deshun Murrell.

During his first college season, in 2019, Charbonnet ran for a team-high 726 yards and set a Wolverines freshman record with 11 rushing touchdowns. Last season, as Hassan Haskins emerged as Michigan’s top ballcarrier, Charbonnet ran for 124 yards in 19 carries.


Charbonnet became only the fourth Wolverines true freshman to start at running back in a season opener since 1944 and the first since Sam McGuffie in 2008. He ran for at least 100 yards in two games, including a career-high 116 yards against Illinois.

Charbonnet’s best game in 2020 came against Minnesota, when he ran for a 70-yard touchdown and finished with 70 yards in four carries.

Playing for UCLA coach Chip Kelly will give Charbonnet the chance to become the latest Bruins standout running back after Josh Kelley ran for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons and Demetric Felton Jr. was on pace to do the same during the shortened 2020 season, finishing with 668 yards in six games.