Latest Longhorns News:Just In Another Top Experienced Longhorn Star enters the NCAA transfer portal

Jay Toia, a defensive tackle for the UCLA Bruins, confirmed on Twitter on Thursday that he had registered on the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday night. The Texas Longhorns may seek Toia during the spring transfer window as they continue to look for interior defensive linemen.
As a graduate transfer with one season left of eligibility, Toia first became well-known in February when UCLA head coach Chip Kelly left the team to take a position as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator.

Texas does still need a nose tackle, and they have a connection to that group because Johnny Nansen, the new co-defensive coordinator, coached UCLA’s defensive line in 2021, just recently enough to have recruited multiple guys.

While Nansen isn’t formally listed by 247Sports as Jay Toia’s recruiter, the 6’3, 325-pound senior nose lineman was under his tutelage for one season. Toia, an Inglewood native, was a member of the 2021 recruiting class when he first signed with USC. He played for the Trojans during the spring semester until utilizing the NCAA transfer portal.

When Toia announced his transfer on Instagram, he stated, “The 2020 pandemic was tragic to so many that lost so much.” “Due to COVID-19 limits, my parents and I felt compelled to sign with USC on the basis of scant information, which was a big decision for us to make. We were unable to visit any of the other universities on our short list, including UCLA, Miami, Michigan, Utah, and Utah, in an official or informal capacity.

After enrolling at UCLA, Toia played for Nansen in 2021, earning 12 appearances and eight tackles in 12 games. When Nansen was Arizona’s defensive coordinator for the previous two seasons, the Tonga native started 24 games in total. In 2022, he totaled 30 tackles with three tackles for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble; in 2023, he recorded 28 tackles with four tackles for loss and one sack.
Toia also played 154 of his 383 snaps in the A gap and recorded 10 defensive stops, according to PFF, however his overall defensive grade suffered greatly from seven missed tackles.

Toia, however, is young for his class because he didn’t have a redshirt season because he entered at USC at the age of 17, indicating that he may still have some growth if he can improve his consistency.

The Longhorns may select two defensive tackles from the portal to join Tia Savea, who signed with the Bruins before playing for Nansen the previous two seasons with the Wildcats, depending on suitability and the amount of scholarships available. There are 85 scholarships available for Texas during the autumn.

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