UCLA Bruins: A New Chapter in the Backfield
As the upcoming season approaches, the UCLA Bruins are gearing up with renewed energy and a fresh roster that spotlights new faces and blossoming talents. With the departure of star running back Zach Charbonnet for the NFL, the question of who will fill his shoes in the backfield arises. However, there’s no need for panic in the Bruins’ camp, as a dynamic duo is prepared to rise to the challenge.
TJ Harden and Carson Steele: A Potent Duo
Sophomore TJ Harden and junior transfer Carson Steele are poised to seize the opportunity and shine in the running back position. Their standout performances during fall camp have garnered attention and ignited anticipation among fans. Supported by a robust offensive line, Harden and Steele have the perfect foundation to excel.
“We have depth right now,” coach Chip Kelly said. “That doesn’t mean after the Coastal Carolina game we’ll have depth, but I think we have some guys there and we’re bigger. And we consciously wanted to get bigger at the running back spot.”
A Formidable Force on the Field
While the offensive line provides guidance, both Harden and Steele have been honing their skills during the offseason. They’ve been dedicated to enhancing their physical prowess under the guidance of head coach Chip Kelly and the coaching staff. Harden, reflecting on his progress, noted the significant improvements he’s witnessed in his game within just a couple of weeks of practice.
UCLA’s Proven Legacy
UCLA’s track record of transforming transfer running backs into powerhouses is well-documented. Carson Steele’s decision to transition from Ball State to join the Bruins aligns perfectly with this legacy. Under the mentorship of Coach Kelly and running backs coach DeShaun Foster, Steele’s growth curve has been on a positive trajectory. As new talents like Steele and Harden step up to the plate, the Bruins are embracing the prospect of change and growth.
“Last year I had a little bit more fat on me and I have more muscle now,” he said. “Honestly I feel lighter, which is crazy. I feel faster.”
Anticipating a Bright Season
As the season unfolds, all eyes will be on Harden and Steele as they prepare to step into significant roles, filling the void left by Charbonnet. While the challenge is undeniable, the duo’s readiness and determination are palpable. The field awaits the opportunity for these emerging stars to etch their names in the Bruins’ legacy, carving their unique imprint on the game.