First published in the Jan. 15 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
Another chapter was written in the remarkable football career of UCLA tight end Greg Dulcich when the Glendale resident and 2018 graduate of La Cañada Flintridge’s St. Francis High School last week announced that he was declaring for the 2022 NFL draft.
The 6’4”, 245-pound standout graduated from UCLA in December with a degree in political science but had NCAA eligibility remaining. He will almost certainly be selected when the National Football League holds its annual draft in late April in Las Vegas.
“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 posting on social media explaining his decision. “Nothing would be possible without his grace.”
Dulcich caught 42 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns during the 2021 season 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 game — the school’s first in 53 years — where they suffered a heartbreaking 44-42 defeat at the hands of Moreno Valley Rancho Verde 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 UCLA head coach Chip 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 Glendale’s Anna and George Dulcich, Greg has an older brother, George Jr., and two sisters, Eva and Madeline. George preceded Greg at St. Francis and also played football for the Golden Knights.
“He really inspired me to play football,” said Greg Dulcich. “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 late former St. Francis football coach, who died in October 2020.