First published in the Jan. 13 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
Another chapter was recently written in the seemingly unreal football career of UCLA tight end Greg Dulcich when the 2018 graduate of La Cañada Flintridge’s St. Francis High School announced last week that he was declaring for the 2022 NFL draft.
The 6’4,” 245-pound Dulcich graduated in December with a degree in political science but still had NCAA eligibility remaining. He will likely be drafted when the National Football League hold its annual talent jamboree for three days in Las Vegas in late April.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for all the blessings he has given me in my life, from my family and friends to my opportunities playing the game I love,” Dulcich said in a social media posting explaining his decision. “Nothing would be possible without his grace.”
Dulcich caught 42 passes during the 2021 season for 725 yards and five touchdowns as the Bruins finished 8-4 and qualified for the Holiday Bowl. His 17.3 yards per catch average was particularly head-turning and earned him a spot on the All-Pac-12 first team.
Few, if any, who are familiar with Dulcich were startled by his success at the collegiate level. While a junior at St. Francis, he made 30 catches for 406 yards and four touchdowns. Dulcich caught 50 passes — and the attention of recruiters — during his senior year, gaining 1,168 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns on pass receptions and another three while running the football. He proved his durability by recording 21 tackles on defense. That season, the Golden Knights advanced to the 2017 CIF Division 3 championship — the school’s first in 53 years — where they suffered a heartbreaking 44-42 defeat at the hands of Moreno Valley’s Rancho Verde High on a last-second field goal.
Dulcich was listed by ESPN as a three-star recruit and the No. 78 overall recruit in California for the 2018 high school graduating class. He was heavily sought after by Derek Sage, then the receivers coach at Washington State. When Sage ended up at UCLA, so did Dulcich.
He paid his own way to Westwood for his first two years as a Bruin until March 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic getting the nation’s full attention, Dulcich received a special phone call from Kelly on March 26 of that year, which happens to be the player’s birthday.
“Coach Kelly said he wanted to do this in front of the entire team, but he wasn’t sure when we would all be back together. Then he said that based on my hard work, he was going to put me on scholarship and he wanted to do it as soon as possible,” Dulcich said. “That was a pretty nice 20th birthday present.”
The son of Anna and George, Dulcich has an older brother, George Jr., and two sisters, Eva and Madeline, both of whom graduated from Flintridge Sacred Heart. George preceded Dulcich at St. Francis and also played football for the Golden Knights. “He really inspired me to play football,” Dulcich said. “Watching him play really meant a lot.”
The NFL prospect even mentioned his alma mater during his announcement.
“Thank you to my Golden Knight family and to Coach Jim Bonds for giving me the strongest foundation possible in both faith and football,” said Dulcich, mentioning the beloved former St. Francis football coach, who died in October 2020.