New UCLA coach Chip Kelly will see the talent in his quarterback room take a massive leap forward right away in 2018. Washington graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels told CBS Sports on Monday that he will enroll in UCLA in the spring and be immediately eligible to play the 2018 season for the Bruins.
A four-star prospect, per the 247Sports Composite, out of San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep, Carta-Samuels was given a full release by Huskies coach Chris Petersen after serving as a backup to Jake Browning for the last two seasons. Carta-Samuels was originally a member of the Class of 2014.
"UCLA is the right place because, first of all, Chip Kelly is a huge reason why," Carta-Samuels told CBS Sports. "He's going to be running an offense that I'd like to be a part of and add to. With that said, it's close to home. Being from the Bay Area, it's just a little bit south.
"Being on a quarter system, up at Washington finishing winter quarter and I can step right in in the spring quarter. So being able to partake in spring ball is a big factor."
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder also noted that he's excited to be able to stay in the Pac-12. He has a familiarity with the teams and the defenses, including Washington, who UCLA will host at home in Week 6.
Carta-Samuels also considered Iowa State and Colorado State. He took an official visit to Ames, Iowa, but his official visit last weekend to Westwood crystallized his decision. In his talks with Kelly, Carta-Samuels got a sense for how the UCLA offense might look, and it was a good fit for both parties.
"I think it's going to be more of what he ran in Philadelphia when he was on the Eagles with Nick Foles," Carta-Samuels explained. "That's the direction I see this offense going and the sense I got from him."
With the departure of Josh Rosen to the NFL, Carta-Samuels adds to a room that returns redshirt sophomore Devon Modster, backups Matt Lynch and Austin Burton, as well as true freshman four-star commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite.
"It's going to be an open competition," Carta-Samuels said. "[Kelly] stressed the importance of the best guy on the field will play. That won't be determined in one practice or two practices. All I can ask for is a fair shot. No expectations, leniencies or allegiances towards anyone. Just a fair shot to prove and battle with the other guys and see who moves the offense in the best direction."
Carta-Samuels has completed 27-of-47 passes for 310 yards in his career. He was the 221st ranked player in the Class of 2014 and the No. 12 ranked pro-style quarterback when he left high school, per the 247Sports Composite. Carta-Samuels has one remaining year of eligibility.