UCLA Football Kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira Enters Transfer Portal

Barr-Mira took on punting duties for the Bruins in 2022, which was also his third season as their starting kicker.

With another Bruin diving head-first into the portal, the team is suddenly down two starters.

UCLA football kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira is entering the NCAA transfer portal, On3.com was first to report Friday night. Barr-Mira also changed his Twitter bio to “Graduate Transfer Kicker and Punter,” effectively confirming the initial report.

Barr-Mira, who just finished his third season as the Bruins’ starting placekicker, also handled starting punting duties in 2022.

UCLA has now had six players enter the transfer portal this year, with offensive linemen Tyler Manoa and Baraka Beckett getting the ball rolling in early October. Quarterback Chase Artopoeus, defensive lineman Hayden Harris and linebacker Erich Osteen all entered the portal in the days following the conclusion of the regular season.

Like Osteen, Harris, Artopoeus, Beckett and Manoa before him, Barr-Mira is permitted to enter the portal before it officially opens on Monday due to the fact that he is a graduate transfer.

Barr-Mira was a two-star prospect coming out of Loyola High School (CA), according to 247Sports, ranking as the No. 9 kicker in the class of 2019. Barr-Mira earned 4.5 stars from Chris Sailer Kicking, placing him in the “FCS Freshman Year Starter, Scholarship Pick or FBS PWO“ tier.

After redshirting his freshman year behind veteran JJ Molson, Barr-Mira took over as UCLA’s full-time starting kicker ahead of the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. Barr-Mira went 6-of-7 on field goals that year while also converting on 30-of-31 extra points.

The 2021 season did not treat Barr-Mira as kindly, considering he ended the year on a 6-of-11 cold streak to wind up at 14-of-21 overall. Barr-Mira appeared to have gotten back on track in 2022, recovering from two misses in the season opener with a perfect 7-of-7 stretch over the next four games, but he ended the year with a 15-of-21 mark. Barr-Mira did, however, go a perfect 56-of-56 on extra points this season.

For his career, Barr-Mira is 35-of-49 on field goals with a career-long of 49 yards while going 138-of-142 on extra points. His 22 career punts went an average of 43.7 yards, and he pinned eight attempts inside the 20.

Barr-Mira, who climbed up to the No. 12 spot on the Bruins’ all-time career points leaderboard, played his first season on scholarship this fall. The 6-foot, 170-pound kicker is the half brother of UCLA’s former All-American linebacker Anthony Barr, who has spent the last nine years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys.

Since the start of the 2020 season, Barr-Mira is the only player who has attempted an in-game field goal for the Bruins. Joseph Firebaugh Jr. came in for two extra points in UCLA’s blowout wins over Alabama State and Colorado on Sept. 10 and Sept. 24, respectively, while Chase Barry attempted one punt against the Hornets. Other than those brief instances against an FCS team and the last-place finisher in the Pac-12, though, special teams ran almost entirely through Barr-Mira in 2022.

Barr-Mira took over at punter this fall partially because previous starter Luke Akers transferred to Northwestern last offseason. Akers also entered the portal between the end of the regular season and the Bruins’ 2021 bowl game, robbing the team of a starter without a clear replacement on short notice.

UCLA is in a similar position here in 2022, but now there are two starting spots that have opened up, and they won’t have their postseason game shut down by COVID-19 this time around either.

Barry is the only true punter left on the roster, and despite being a true freshman, he is the only remaining player who has attempted a punt in a college game. Firebaugh is the only kicker on the roster who has an attempt under his belt, but he will have to compete with kickoff specialist RJ Lopez, freshman Kalen Jones and veteran Ari Libenson.

UCLA will have to fast track its position battle with a bowl coming up in a few week’s time, but then there is an entire offseason to shore up the two primary specialist spots, either internally or externally.

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