Thomas Duarte Shines Again

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei tight end Thomas Duarte showed once again last Friday why he's among the top players in the entire West region...

Thomas Duarte was tremendous last Friday in a 51-0 beat down of a solid Santa Monica (Calif.) squad. Mostly known as a pass catching tight end/receiver, Duarte had his moments catching the ball and is a brutal matchup for defenses. Duarte has slimmed down and looks noticeably quicker. He's still too big for an opposing corner or safety and way too athletic for a linebacker to check.

On defense, he really had an impact with three sacks in the 1st half and was relentless at outside linebacker/defensive end. He's very quick off the ball, uses his hands well and has tremendous closing speed.

On his recruitment, Duarte mentioned after the game that he's still open to everyone and not focusing too hard on narrowing his list right now.

"I really want to focus on Mater Dei football right now," Duarte said. "We're off to a great start and I don't want anything to distract that. I do have a short list of schools that are recruiting me hard right now with the main ones being UCLA, Oregon, Notre Dame, Washington and USC.

"All but USC have offered but they're talking to me and seem very interested. I haven't set up any visits yet and I would like to take them all after the season. I also plan to attend a couple of UCLA and USC games if I can during the year but like I said, I plan do the majority of my visits once my season is over."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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