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UCLA Freshman Losman to Transfer

July 22, 1999|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

J.P. Losman, a strong-armed incoming freshman quarterback at UCLA, has decided to transfer.

The announcement Wednesday came as no surprise. Losman, apparently concerned that he might not start as a true freshman or be asked to redshirt rather than waste the season, was rumored to be considering such a move, but did not return phone calls to comment.

"J.P. told me he does not want to redshirt this year and I think he's concerned with the number of quarterbacks we have in the program," Bruin Coach Bob Toledo said. "I told him that there will be competition anywhere he goes and that he's only been in our system for one quarter and should be patient. I don't believe he's selected a new school yet, but we will give him his release to transfer."

Losman graduated early from Venice High so he could enroll at UCLA and take part in spring practice. He looked nervous at times and his youth showed, but he also impressed Bruin coaches, who continued to rave about the arm strength they fell in love with during the recruiting process. When none of the four returning quarterbacks--Drew Bennett, Scott McEwan, Ryan McCann and Cory Paus--took control of the race to replace Cade McNown as the No. 1 quarterback, it meant Losman could have earned the job in the fall as a true freshman.

Instead, not wanting to risk spending the season on the bench or a reserve role, he opted to transfer. A junior college is a possible destination, which would allow him to consider UCLA again in a year as a transfer.

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