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UCLA DB Qwuantrezz Knight out of Holiday Bowl because of COVID-19

UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight stands on the field.
UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight stands on the field during the first half against California on Nov. 27 at the Rose Bowl.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

UCLA’s leading tackler Qwuantrezz Knight will miss the Holiday Bowl because of COVID-19 protocols, the defensive back announced on social media Thursday night.

Knight, who has 61 tackles with a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss, was not seen on the practice field Wednesday and Thursday as the Bruins prepared to face No. 18 North Carolina State on Dec. 28. He served as a celebrity judge at UCLA gymnastics’ Meet the Bruins event on Dec. 17.

Mindful of the national surge in coronavirus cases caused by the highly transmissible omicron variant, the Bruins have taken additional measures to guard against a large outbreak that would affect their first bowl appearance since 2017. The team moved large team meetings outdoors and resumed indoor masking.

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Ongoing pandemic concerns have already impacted the college football bowl season. Texas A&M had to withdraw from the Gator Bowl because of a COVID-19 outbreak and injuries, allowing Rutgers, which finished with a 5-7 record, to step into a matchup against Wake Forest. COVID-19 issues with the Hawaii program forced the cancellation of the Hawaii Bowl. Memphis was scheduled to play in the game on Friday.

Knight returned to UCLA for a sixth season of college football this uear, using additional eligibility from the pandemic. He has started every game of his UCLA career, totaling 101 tackles in 19 appearances. Known for his upbeat attitude and strong vocal leadership skills, Knight won the team’s Jerry Long “Heart” Award at UCLA’s awards banquet and was named second-team All-Pac-12 by league coaches. The 6-foot, 199-pound prospect will enter the NFL draft pool next.

UCLA is taking extra precautions against the coronavirus as it prepares to play North Carolina State in the Holiday Bowl next week.


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