Top UCLA and Boise State Players Not Playing in the LA Bowl

    Laiatu Latu is out, but who else from the UCLA defense could present problems for the Bruins to replace in the LA Bowl against Boise State?

    What a game the LA Bowl shall be when the UCLA Bruins and Boise State Broncos match up. Boise State has something to prove as the defending Mountain West Champions while UCLA is looking to end this season on a positive note after a sour stretch through Pac-12 play.

    With eyes on the LA Bowl, which of the top UCLA and Boise State players are expected to be miss the action?

    Top UCLA, Boise State Players Not Playing the LA Bowl

    Thanks to the College Football Network Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker, we know just who is set to sit out the contest between UCLA and Boise State easily enough.

    For the full game preview and prediction: LA Bowl Prediction: UCLA vs. Boise State Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    UCLA Players To Miss the LA Bowl

    The eyes immediately go to the positions of the players listed below and it’s hard not to notice the fact that UCLA is to be without QB Dante Moore in this game. Moore, a true freshman, ushered in a potentially new and exciting brand of football for the Bruins this season. Yet, he was removed from the lineup halfway through the year and has entered the portal almost immediately following their season.

    Also on offense, pass-catching targets Keegan Jones and Kam Brown are in the portal, but they hardly combined for 200 yards and a touchdown through the air. The larger loss is TE Carsen Ryan, who had three receiving scores and was a vital red-zone threat in 2023.

    On defense, the biggest name on the field is out. Laiatu Latu was arguably the best defensive player in the Pac-12 this season, if not one of the best defensive players around the entire country.

    He’s said he’ll be turning pro but has indicated that he’ll skip the bowl game as he prepares for the 2024 NFL Draft. With nearly a dozen QB hits to go with his ridiculous sack and pressure rates, Latu influenced the game on defense more than anyone else did in the Pac-12 this season. Without him chasing down quarterbacks, the UCLA defense will be hurting for someone opposite the Murphy brothers to get home with pressure.

    It’s not just Latu that presents a challenge for UCLA to replace in the LA Bowl, however. Starting secondary members John Humphrey, Kamari Ramsey, and William Nimmo Jr. each played vital roles on the back end of the Bruins’ defense in 2023.

    Humphrey rallied off two picks while Ramsey and Nimmo combined to roam the field at safety with precision. Without defensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and a handful of key defensive components, the Bruins defense should look vastly different than they did in November.

    UCLA players expected to miss Independence Bowl:

    • John Humphrey, CB (transfer portal)
    • Kamari Ramsey, DB (transfer portal)
    • William Nimmo, S (transfer portal)
    • Jake Wiley, iOL (transfer portal)
    • Dante Moore, QB (transfer portal)
    • Carsen Ryan, TE (transfer portal)
    • Keegan Jones, WR (transfer portal)
    • Kam Brown, WR (transfer portal)
    • Laiatu Latu, EDGE (opt-out, not confirmed)

    Boise State Players To Miss the LA Bowl

    Like UCLA, Boise State will be without their most exciting player and quarterback: Taylen Green. Now committed to Arkansas, Green has already moved on to the friendly confines of the SEC and will hope to put his name into the NFL Draft picture next fall.

    This, of course, leaves the Broncos in a tough spot and forces them to play Maddux Madsen against UCLA. Madsen started just a single game for Boise State this season, but he played a majority of the plays against Fresno State when he was inserted into the lineup to try and give the Broncos a jolt.

    Madsen plays a very different brand of football than Green did and may be the right answer in the long turn for new head coach Spencer Danielson and Co.

    Elsewhere, the Broncos will be without top receiving threat Eric McAlister. The big target at 6’4″ and nearly 200 pounds offered up a massive frame and catch radius for his quarterbacks this season but hadn’t played for Boise State since Week 10. They can win games without McAlister and they’ll need Stefan Cobbs, Billy Bowens, and do-everything RB Ashton Jeanty to step up.

    On defense, Boise State’s losses are minimal. Kivon Wright played just a single game this season while Keenan McCaddy was inactive.

    Boise State players expected to miss LA Bowl:

    • Kivon Wright, EDGE (transfer portal)
    • Taylen Green, QB (transfer portal)
    • Keenan McCaddy, S (transfer portal)
    • Eric McAlister, WR (transfer portal)

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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