RB Kazmeir Allen is Chip Kelly’s first commit at UCLA

Three-star running back Kazmeir Allen announced his commitment to UCLA on Wednesday, becoming Chip Kelly‘s first new pledge for the 2018 recruiting class.

On Nov. 23, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound prospect from Tulare released a top-six with Fresno State, Wisconsin, USC, San Diego State, Cal and Arizona State, but the Bruins swooped in with an offer this week after Kelly took over and immediately earned the senior’s verbal commitment.

In a seemingly perfect fit for what’s expected to an uptempo offense, Allen finished sixth in the CIF State 100-meter dash last year with a personal-best 10.48.

Here’s a look at his senior highlights:

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UCLA links: Bruins settling down after chaotic start to year

UCLA head coach Steve Alford talks to an official during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Classic, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Steve Alford knew the beginning of the season would test his young team. He never knew it would result in three indefinite suspensions and an international shoplifting scandal that caught the attention of President Donald Trump.

Three weeks after three freshmen were arrested in China, the Bruins (5-1) are still struggling to overcome their short bench but are starting to settle into the season.

“It’s different for sure,” senior Thomas Welsh said, “but at the end of the day it’s just about playing the best we can with the guys we’ve got and just working hard in practice, working hard on the court and trying to play with one another and just making the most of what we have.”

More on the Bruins heading into Wednesday’s game against Cal State Bakersfield at Pauley Pavilion at 7 p.m.

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UCLA loses three-star DL Niti Liu

The first recruiting news of the Chip Kelly era is a decommittment as three-star defensive lineman Niti Liu announced that he was backing off his pledge via Twitter.

Liu, from Sacramento’s Grant Union High School, committed to the Bruins in June and told 247 Sports on Monday that he was excited about the coaching change. He said he would remain with the Bruins even if defensive line coach Angus McClure was released.

The Bruins still have defensive line commitments from defensive end Abdul-Malik McClain and defensive tackle Aaron Maldonado for their 2018 class.

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UCLA links: Chip Kelly makes his UCLA debut

New UCLA football coach Chip Kelly answers questions Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, at a news conference on campus in Westwood. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

Chip Kelly passed his first test. He earned a round of applause from donors as he walked into his introductory press conference. He told jokes. He dropped a catchy rhyme when describing his vision for the UCLA football team.

“I believe football is about three things: I believe it’s about relationships, friendships and championships,” Kelly said Monday in front of a packed room.

Former UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman hailed the hire as the best in UCLA’s history as the school was able to snatch up a coach with a proven track record and keep him away from a number of other high-profile suitors.

The deal came together within a week. It took Kelly only two minutes to seamlessly name-drop John Wooden as an inspiration. It’s only going to get harder from here.

“The press conference, this is the easiest day of his time,” Aikman said. “Now he’s gotta go out and do something.”

More from Kelly’s introductory press conference

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