When Caleb Wilson announced he was leaving school early for the NFL, it was clear that he was going to be hard to replace. Thankfully, the UCLA Bruins have a group of tight ends that are definitely up to the task. When you couple that with some new additions, this unit has the potential to make the UCLA offense one of the best in the country.
- Matt Alaimo
- Connor Beadles
- Caleb Wilson
The tight end unit lost three last year, with Matt Alaimo transferring to Rutgers and Wilson taking off early for the NFL. Connor Beadles has also left the team.
- Devin Asiasi
- Greg Dulcich
- Drew Platt
- David Priebe
- Jordan Wilson
- Matt Lynch
The good news is that there is definitely talent returning and the Bruins are loaded at this position. Devin Asiasi is more than likely going to be coming out in the number one spot, as he was looking like Wilson’s successor toward the end of last season. He logged six receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown. While he can’t exactly go the distance like Wilson, he has capabilities off the line of scrimmage that will give UCLA some options.
Jordan Wilson saw more playing time in 2017. He put up 155 yards two years ago, but only 17 yards on two receptions in 2018. He will be a veteran with experience to help with depth at the position. Additionally, redshirt freshmen Greg Dulcich and David Priebe saw real game action last year, but not enough to burn their redshirt.
Finally, we have a quarterback changing positions and is now a tight end. In an effort to see more game action, Matt Lynch is making the move and it seemed to worked out easily during Spring Practice. He has worked with Asiasi on running routes while helping his teammates with defensive schemes.
- Michael Churich
- Josh Harris
- Michael Martinez
UCLA is adding two true freshmen, Michael Martinez and Michael Churich. Martinez comes to UCLA from football powerhouse Mater Dei. His 6’5” frame is a good fit for Chip Kelly’s system which covets big bodies. He will be exciting to watch in the future. Churich is a preferred walk-on with a roster spot but no scholarship. Given the number of tight ends on the roster, it seems likely that both of these guys will end up redshirting.
Josh Harris is an unknown at the tight end position. At 6’6” tall, he definitely has height on his side, but he comes to UCLA after playing limited time as a quarterback for one year at Grossmont College in El Cajon. He’s actually going to be one of the oldest players on the team at 23 years old, as he went on a mission in Nicaragua after high school. He played quarterback for two different high schools but never started. So, it will be interesting to see what Kelly has up his sleeve with this guy.
Projected Depth Chart
John Mackey Award nominee Devin Asiasi looks to be the starter while Jordan Wilson and Matt Lynch should be next on the depth chart. Expect the duo to battle it out in Fall Camp for the second tight end spot. The loser of the battle between Wilson and Lynch will be the third tight end. Should the team ever need a fourth or fifth tight end, then look for David Priebe or freshman Michael Martinez to come into play.
Here is the full roster of the 2019 tight ends:
UCLA 2019 Tight Ends Roster
UCLA is loaded at tight end, but losing Wilson to the NFL is going to have an impact. We may not see one player emerge as Wilson’s replacement, so it may take the efforts of the entire group to make this position work.