UCLA's Jay Shaw and Chase Cota become the latest to enter a crowded transfer portal

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PASADENA, CALIF. - AUG. 28, 2021. UCLA cornerback Jay Shaw intercepts a pass by Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro in the fourth quarter in the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
UCLA cornerback Jay Shaw intercepts a pass by Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro on Aug. 28, 2021. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA likely lost two veterans of the Chip Kelly era Monday when cornerback Jay Shaw and wide receiver Chase Cota announced on social media they had entered the transfer portal.

Shaw was a lockdown member of the secondary in each of the last two seasons, tying for the team lead with three interceptions in 2021 and two interceptions in pandemic-shortened 2020. One of the hardest hitters on the team, Shaw was a second team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021 by the Associated Press and Pro Football Focus.

One of the handful of remaining holdovers from the Jim Mora era, Shaw posted his notification of transfer on Instagram. Shaw’s announcement came one day after Wyoming cornerback Azizi Hearn announced on Twitter that he was committed to UCLA as a graduate transfer, though it was unclear if the moves were related.

Cota also made his announcement on Twitter, saying he was “very proud” to be a UCLA graduate and was “very excited for what god has in store for my future.” As a senior last season, Cota was the Bruins’ third-leading receiver, catching 18 passes for 286 yards and one touchdown.

The departure of Cota, a member of Kelly's first UCLA recruiting class, means the Bruins are losing their top three pass-catchers from last season, with slot receiver Kyle Philips and tight end Greg Dulcich declaring for the NFL draft. Philips, Dulcich and Cota combined to make 119 of UCLA's 207 receptions last season, depriving the team of 57.5% of its receiving production heading into 2022.

Their absence could be partially offset by the arrival of Duke wide receiver Jake Bobo and Central Florida wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala as transfers, plus incoming freshmen Jadyn Marshall and Braden Pegan. Last season, Bobo made 74 catches for 794 yards and one touchdown; Mokiao-Atimalala made 12 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown during his first season with the Knights.

UCLA's Chase Cota runs with the ball after a reception against Oregon.
UCLA's Chase Cota runs with the ball after a reception against Oregon during the 2020 season. (Chris Pietsch / Associated Press)

Fourteen UCLA players have entered the transfer portal since last month.

In addition to Shaw and Cota, quarterbacks Parker McQuarrie and Kajiya Hollawayne; punter Luke Akers; wide receiver Keontez Lewis; linebackers Myles Jackson and AJ Campbell; safety DJ Warnell; defensive back Shamar Martin; defensive linemen Tiaoalii Savea, Tyler Kiehne and John Ward; and offensive lineman Beau Taylor have all found new homes or are exploring their options.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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