The Bruins have added another key special teamer via the portal.
Former Montana State kicker Blake Glessner has committed to UCLA football, he announced Monday on Twitter. Glessner entered the transfer portal on Dec. 31 after three seasons in Bozeman, Montana, and he has two years of remaining eligibility.
Glessner was the full-time starter for the Bobcats the last two years, immediately putting him in contention to replace the Bruins’ own outgoing three-year starter.
Glessner is the eighth transfer to commit to the Bruins since the end of the regular season, joining UPenn defensive end Jake Heimlicher, Cal linebacker Oluwafemi Oladejo, Princeton punter Will Powers, Kent State quarterback Collin Schlee, Purdue left guard Spencer Holstege, Army running back Anthony Adkins and tight end Moliki Matavao.
Coming out of Woodinville High School (WA) in 2021, Glessner was a one-star recruit and the No. 8 kicker in the country, according to 247Sports. Glessner earned four stars from Chris Sailer Kicking, which correlates to an FCS freshman year starter or FBS preferred walk-on candidate.
Glessner finally got his shot at Montana State as a redshirt freshman and immediately took advantage of it. He became the team’s starter and helped lead them to an FCS Championship Game appearance in 2021.
After going 20-of-26 on field goals with a long of 51 yards – plus a 48-of-51 clip on extra points – Glessner earned a spot on the All-Big Sky Third Team in 2021. Glessner set the Montana State record for points in 2022 with 143, going 24-of-30 on field goals and 71-of-73 on extra points en route to an All-Big Sky honorable mention.
Glessner was also the Bobcats’ kickoff specialist the past two years, leading the entire FCS with 66 touchbacks in 2022, and he even attempted a punt this fall.
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UCLA likely won’t need Glessner to take over at either of those spots, with Powers and Chase Barry set to compete for the starting punter job and RJ Lopez staying in town to keep handling kickoff duties. The starting placekicker job has opened up, though, with Nicholas Barr-Mira entering the transfer portal in December.
Barr-Mira has gone 35-of-49 on field goals over the past three years, in addition to a 143-of-147 mark on extra points. His 248 career points are the most in the Pac-12 since he took over the starting job, and they rank No. 11 in program history.
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, in his first season since transferring from Southwestern College.
Firebaugh, freshman Kalen Jones and veteran Ari Libenson were the only kickers left on the roster following Barr-Mira’s departure. Glessner has more experience and success at the college level than all three of them combined, so he is most likely the leader to take over for Barr-Mira with spring camp three months out.
Click here to check out All Bruins’ 2023 transfer portal tracker
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PHOTO COURTESY OF BLAKE GLESSNER/TWITTER