UCLA’s Greg Dulcich, who rose from walk-on wide receiver to first team All-Pac-12 tight end, announced Wednesday that he would declare for the NFL draft, meaning the Bruins will lose their top two pass-catchers with wide receiver Kyle Philips making the same move a day earlier.
Lightly recruited out of La Cañada St. Francis High, Dulcich paid his own tuition for two college seasons before emerging as a star with the Bruins. He caught 42 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns as a redshirt junior last season, his 17.3 yards per catch ranking No. 3 nationally among all tight ends.
Dulcich thanked coach Chip Kelly and tight ends coach Derek Sage for taking a chance and championing him as part of his announcement on social media.
“I would not be where I am today without you,” wrote Dulcich, who was put on scholarship before the 2020 season.
The departures of Dulcich and Philips are a huge blow to UCLA’s receiving corps for 2022. Dulcich and Philips combined to make 101 of the team’s 207 catches (48.8%) last season, with no one else on the roster making more than wide receiver Chase Cota’s 18 catches.
Somewhat softening the blow is the expected arrival of Duke transfer Jake Bobo, who caught 74 passes for 794 yards and one touchdown in 2021 for the Blue Devils. The Bruins have also signed a four-star prospect in Inglewood High wide receiver Jadyn Marshall.
Dulcich becomes the fourth Bruin to say he’s declaring for the NFL draft, joining Philips, right tackle Alec Anderson and safety Quentin Lake. Cornerback Jay Shaw and defensive linemen Martin Andrus Jr. and Tyler Manoa have said they will return for the 2022 season.
©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.