UCLA: Thomas Duarte

Spring position breakdowns: TE

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28
7:00
PM PT
Our look at position groups in the Pac-12 continues.

Arizona: Terrence Miller was listed on the team's depth chart as a tight end, but he wasn't a traditional tight end. After catching 40 passes for 467 yards in 2013, he's out of eligibility. Former quarterback Josh Kern backed up Miller and is one of four tight ends listed on the roster.

Arizona State: Chris Coyle (29 catches, 423 yards, 4 TD) is a big loss for the Sun Devils and his primary backup, Darwin Rogers, also is out of eligibility. De'Marieya Nelson and Marcus Washington are the most experienced of the four tight ends on the roster, which will grow by one with the addition of recent signee Brendan Landman. Landman is expected to redshirt after playing left tackle during his senior year in high school.

California: There is no tight end position in Cal's offense, which was a factor in Richard Rodgers' early jump to the NFL. Rodgers was switched from tight end to wide receiver last season upon coach Sonny Dykes' arrival.

Colorado: Senior Kyle Slavin is atop the depth chart after catching nine passes in 2013. Sean Irwin played minimally as a freshman, but his role is set to increase. Three other tight ends are on the roster, including Connor Center, who did not play football in high school.

[+] EnlargePharaoh Brown
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesOregon's Pharoah Brown made 10 catches, two for touchdowns, in 2013.
Oregon: The Ducks have a trio of players who gained significant experience in 2013 in Pharaoh Brown, Johnny Mundt and Evan Baylis. Brown started five games, Mundt had a 121-yard receiving game and Baylis started in the Civil War game against Oregon State. Koa Ka'ai and Davaysia Hagger will provide depth, but they don't appear on track to make much of an impact on the depth chart.

Oregon State: With Connor Hamlett and Caleb Smith both returning, the Beavers arguably have the best tight end tandem in the conference. Hamlett had 40 catches for 364 yards and Smith added 25 for 343 yards. Kellen Clute (19 catches, 159 yards) also contributed to the passing game and Tyler Perry, who will be a fifth-year senior, is an important run-blocker.

Stanford: A one-time strength of the Cardinal, tight ends weren't a significant factor in Stanford's offense in 2013, but the staff is hopeful that an influx of new players will change that. Stanford signed No. 1-ranked TE-Y Dalton Schultz, and he'll compete for playing time immediately. Greg Taboada, Eric Cotton and Austin Hooper -- all well-regarded tight end recruits -- are coming off redshirts and will compete with Charlie Hopkins, who started three games last season.

UCLA: There is no traditional tight end at UCLA, but Y receiver Thomas Duarte, who was recruited as a tight end, is coming off an exceptional freshman season. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Orange County native appeared in all 13 games and tied a school freshman record with three touchdown receptions.

USC: Losing Xavier Grimble early to the NFL is a blow and just two other scholarship tight ends remain from last season: Randall Telfer and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick. One of the nation's top tight ends, Bryce Dixon, signed with USC, but he wasn't among the group of four early enrollees.

Utah: The Utes were the only school in the country to send two tight ends -- Jake Murphy and Anthony Denham -- to the NFL combine, though Utah listed Denham at receiver. Siale Fakailoatonga, a former walk-on, was Murphy's primary backup on the final depth chart, and he caught two passes for 18 yards in 2013. Harrison Handley redshirted last season after enrolling early last spring and is a candidate to compete for playing time.

Washington: John Mackey Award winner Austin Seferian-Jenkins' departure for the NFL was expected, and how the Huskies replace him will be an interesting process. Clearly, there's not a one-man solution for what they'll lose with Seferian-Jenkins, but the combination that the returning players provide is a nice mix of different talents. Michael Hartvigson and Josh Perkins have the most experience at tight end, but they should receive a push from Darrell Daniels and David Ajamu. Daniels, a highly-regarded receiver recruit who switched to tight end, was a special-teams standout in 2013 as a freshman, while Ajamu redshirted.

Washington State: Washington State didn't list any tight ends on the roster last season, but early enrollee Nick Begg will start his career listed there. The long-term plan for Begg is likely elsewhere.

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Running back
Receiver
Offensive line

Nation's top 2015 TE commits to UCLA 

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
7:29
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On Saturday night, UCLA lost a chance at an appearance in the Pac-12 Championship game with a close loss to Arizona State, but Sunday afternoon brought a measure of recovery, as the Bruins landed a commitment from 2015 ESPN 300 tight end Alize Jones (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman).

Jones -- the nation's No. 48 prospect and the No. 1 recruit at his position -- holds offers from programs across the country, including Arizona State, Baylor, Georgia, Notre Dame, Tennessee and USC, but had long been a lean to the Bruins.

The 6-foot-4, 212-pound tight end took an unofficial visit to UCLA this weekend and didn't need to see much in order to make his commitment.

UCLA gains verbal from TE Duarte

January, 4, 2013
1/04/13
8:49
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CARSON, Calif. -- Three-star tight end Thomas Duarte (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) put a quick end to his recruiting process on Friday, as the three-star prospect made a verbal commitment to the UCLA Bruins at the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

"The education is great that I'll receive and their football is on the rise," Duarte said. "I'm going to love to be a part of the revolution that is UCLA football."

Duarte surprised many by even scheduling his announcement to take place at the event. He said all season that he would focus on recruiting after the season and looked to have a busy January ahead of him. But the 6-foot-3, 223-pound, two-way threat felt comfortable enough after multiple unofficial visits to make a commitment to the Bruins.

He held offers from much of the Pac-12 and eventually narrowed his choices to a final four of Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA and Washington. Duarte took unofficial visits to all but Notre Dame.

Duarte had a phenomenal senior season for a Monarchs team that surprised many by posting an 11-3 record. He caught 58 passes for 1,025 yards and 15 touchdowns, and also racked up 42 tackles 10 sacks and three interceptions on defense.

He has the ability to play multiple positions at the next level, but will begin his career as a tight end.

He is verbal commitment No. 20 for the UCLA Bruins, who needed a versatile tight end to bring in alongside a fantastic group of wide receivers. The Bruins were able to turn tight end Joseph Fauria into a dynamic weapon in the passing game this season, and they likely see the same ability in Duarte.

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2013 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
B. Hundley369248307124
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
B. Hundley1607484.711
P. Perkins1345734.36
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
S. Evans4770915.19
D. Fuller4347111.04
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense196.6251.6448.2
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring36.524.112.4