UCLA got a recruiting bonus Wednesday.
Running back Malcolm Jones, who left UCLA last fall, will return to the Bruins program as a walk-on, head coach Jim Mora said.
Jones was a high-profile recruit out of Westlake Village Oaks Christian, where he was named the national Gatorade player of the year as a senior. But Jones career meandered his first three years at UCLA.
The 6-foot, 220-pound running back had 313 yards rushing in three seasons before leaving after the 2012 season opener. Jones planned to transfer to San Diego State but decided to return to UCLA.
UCLA needs to replace running back senior Johnathan Franklin, who set career and single-season rushing records. Jordon James, Steven Manfro and Paul Perkins are the Bruins' top three returning running backs. Damien Thigpen's availability remains uncertain after he suffered a knee injury last season.