UCLA Pursuing 2016 Punter Austin Kent

Nov. 17 -- With UCLA losing the commitment of 2016 punter Bailey Raborn, there's a new name in the mix for the Bruins...

UCLA and long time kicker commit Bailey Raborn parted ways last week and the Bruins didn't waste much time in trying to fill the spot.

On Monday, UCLA offered Austin Kent a scholarship, the No. 3 punter in the nation according to well renowned kicking guru Chris Sailer.

"Austin is a big time punting talent. A great athlete with one of the strongest legs in his class," Sailer said. "The lefty has improved tremendously in this area. Punts for outstanding hang time and distance and has proven that he can compete with the very best.

"I really like his upside. He has all the tools to dominate the D1 level. He's also has a huge kickoff leg and is a very capable kicker. I expect him to be a P/KO player at the next level. He's a fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic."

Kent said the offer from UCLA left him speachless.

"I was at a loss for words, I honestly didn't know what to say," Kent said. "Scott White called and made the offer and I couldn't believe it. That was my first offer so it's really huge for me.

"We talked about setting up an official visit and it looks like that will be sometime in January. I have an uncle that lives out in Southern California and distance really isn't a factor for me. I'm looking forward to getting out there to get a feel for the school and the campus. I won't commit anywhere without seeing the school first but like I said, I'm really excited about this."

Kent said he's hearing from a handful of schools closer to home as well. 

"North Carolina has offered a preferred walk on spot," Kent said. "I'm also hearing from Virginia Tech, Clemson, Furman and South Carolina. I camped at all of those schools, minus Furman, and also did the Chris Sailer Camp as well.

"I'm open to anyone right now and location isn't a factor. I never grew up with a dream school or anything so I'm wide open. Academics are important to me along with where I feel I can have the biggest impact on the program and the overall campus life."

Kent, who handles field goals and kickoffs as well as punting, said he's averaging 47.2 yards a punt on the year. 

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