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Texas hosts UCLA transfer LB Caleb Johnson

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Johnson signed with the Longhorns out of junior college in 2019, but eventually landed with the Bruins and had two productive seasons in Los Angeles.

Caleb Johnson back in Austin
via @CalebJohnsun

Does the NCAA transfer portal have a circular feature?

That’s the operative question this week as the Texas Longhorns host UCLA Bruins transfer linebacker Caleb Johnson on a visit.

If the name sounds familiar, it should — Johnson signed with the Longhorns out of junior college as a member of the 2019 recruiting class, enrolling early for spring practice and making it through the first four games of the season that fall before entering the portal without logging a snap in burnt orange and white.

The 6’1, 230-pounder from California landed at UCLA, where he started all seven games in 2020, leading the Bruins with 44 tackles and 5.5 sacks and finishing second on the team with seven tackles for loss while adding an interception. Johnson wasn’t quite as productive last season, starting in 10 of his 11 appearances for UCLA, recording 45 tackles with three pass breakups and an interception. But he has proven that he can produce at a high level as a starter in a Power Five conference.

The primary competition for Texas appears to be Miami after Johnson took a recent visit to Coral Gables roughly a week after entering the portal for a second time.

The Longhorns have limited depth at the inside linebacker position with 2021 starter Luke Brockermeyer rehabilitating from a torn ACL and only one signee in the 2022 class, Trevell Johnson, leaving Texas with four healthy inside linebackers this spring after Jaden Hullaby was recently moved to running back.

Johnson has already committed the Horns once and the presence of a new coaching staff could put Texas in a strong position to add Johnson to the fold once again to fill one of few remaining needs on the roster.