Heading into what could be a banner season, one of UCLA’s least-contested positions is suddenly unsettled.
Punter Sean Covington is no longer with the program, according to Bruin Report Online. An All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a true freshman, Covington was not listed on the Bruins’ most recent media guide roster at Pac-12 Media Days.
The 6-foot, 218-pound punter averaged 41.9 yards per punt, placing 18 inside the 20-yard line. Paired with a strong coverage unit, he helped UCLA limit opponents to 3.94 yards per punt return — the 16th lowest mark in the country. Covington also shared kickoff duties with kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, landing 21 touchbacks.
In Covington’s absence, the Bruins have added Matt Mengel out of Long Beach City College. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound player who has drawn rave reviews from punting experts.
Chris Sailer wrote that Mengel has “one of the strongest legs in the nation,” with kickoffs that are already ready for Division I. Kohl’s Kicking praised him as “an impressive combo specialist” who hit five-second hang times on his punts, though his consistency is “solid not spectacular.”