By Joe McHugh

Pasadena Weekly Contributing Writer

Greg Dulcich is representing his hometown of Glendale in a big way.

The 250-pound tight end played football for St. Francis High School, 5 miles from UCLA, in La Cañada Flintridge. He was a walk-on at UCLA and now starts for the Bruins.

“I am receiving a lot of love from my family and friends,” Dulcich said. “A lot of people are coming out to games and showing me support. That really means the world to me, being able to really just play in my backyard and play for the people that I love.”

Dulcich was a three-star prospect out of St. Francis High School, compiling over 1,500 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in two years of varsity football. This landed him as the No. 78 prospect in California in 2018, but he was not given an offer to play at UCLA.

“I played high school football under the great Jim Bonds. He is a very important figure in my life,” Dulcich said. “Coach Bonds was always in my corner, always encouraging me that UCLA is giving me the opportunity to walk on and to go out there and compete and show them what I can do.”

After walking on, Dulcich didn’t see too much action. In 2018, he only saw the field in three games and caught just one pass. Buried in the depth chart behind eventual NFL tight end Devin Asiasi and others, Dulcich kept working toward a starting spot.

“Working to be a part of this offense and over the years just working to be a better player,” Dulcich said. “From working the weight room to offseason film study and learning under coach (Derek Sage), he always teaches us to be a full tight end. … With his guidance and teaching it has made my time here a lot easier.”

His work paid off. Within a year, he played in 11 games and his stats improved from one catch to eight, and he even saw a score in this season as well. He served as a special teams member as well as a backup receiver. After that season, the Bruins put Dulcich on scholarship, solidifying his spot on this UCLA roster.

After his scholarship, he exploded in 2020. Although the season was just seven games, he showed up in all of them, making himself a valued member of the offense.

Dulcich’s role increased significantly, seeing 26 catches for over 500 yards and five touchdowns, a team high for the season. He averaged 20 yards a catch and 74 yards a game, which put him in second in the nation in both of those categories.

At the end of the 2020 season, he was voted to the second team All-Pac-12 team. Dulcich now starts and hauled in a 75-yard touchdown against LSU, leading to the Bruins’ 38-27 victory. He will look to keep that momentum moving as the Bruins square up to play the Arizona State Sun Devils next.

“I think this team is going in the right direction, and I am excited about our future,” he said. “I know we are going to keep rolling and we are going to continue to play fast and be tough.”