The UCLA football season is over and thus begins the madness that is recruiting season. The Bruins continued their run of success with recruits with the commitment of tight end/wide receiver Thomas Duarte, a 6’3” wide receiver at football powerhouse Mater Dei.
Duarte chose UCLA over Notre Dame and Washington at the Semper Fidelis All-Star Game. All three of those schools were on the tight end’s final list.
The Mater Dei senior caught 15 touchdown passes in his final season, while also playing as a linebacker, and his stellar play earned Duarte the distinction of the Los Angeles Times’ Southern California Player Of The Year.
Scouting reports have lauded Duarte’s ability to play as a receiving tight end and have praised his route-running while also noting his hands as extremely reliable. As expected, scouting reports do not like Duarte’s explosiveness (in terms of athleticism) but that’s expected from tight ends. Lastly, scouting reports recommend that Duarte play in a spread offense, and at UCLA, he’ll fill the spot of Y receiver, which will be left vacant by Joseph Fauria.
There was speculation that Duarted was heavily leaning towards UCLA, but with Marques Tuiasosopo bolting Westwood for Washington to become the Huskies’ quarterbacks coach, many thought Duarte was on his way to following his recruiter.
In the end, Duarte decided to stay local and choose the Bruins.