This news was expected and not much of a surprise but still worth mentioning in a stand alone post. Thomas Duarte, a 4 star TE from Mater Dei committed to UCLA during the Under Armour All American game last night. Here is the coverage from the LA Times and Duarte's home town paper the OC Register.
To the YouTube we go for highlights:
And from ESPN:
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.
We will keep an eye on the games today. You should do the same. Consider this continuation of the open thread. And of course welcome to Westwood Thomas.