The Bruins are in the market to add quality depth at the tight end position. A position that has had much tradition in the past for UCLA.
Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has not established the use of the tight end often in his former offenses. But reports indicate that under coach Mora at UCLA they will continue to use tight ends often.
Last year the Bruins signed Ian Taubler, a physical full-sized blocking tight end. In addition to Taubler, the Bruins also signed jumbo-athlete Nate Iese who can be used in the pass game. It's unclear exactly where Iese will start his college career, but tight end is certainly an option.
This year they will target one, or more tight ends if a legit option presents itself.
Here's a look at the current board based on known targets.
Baugh is at the top
Local-area top-rated tight end Marcus Baugh is arguably the top priority for the Bruins. He continues to add new offers every week. The depth at the tight end position in this class is noticeably slim. Particularly in the West.
Baugh has already been on campus at least three or more times, cementing his interest in the Bruins. If UCLA is not his current leader, they certainly seem to be on the short list of three or fewer at this time.
He is the No. 5 ranked tight end in the country.
Duarte a legit option
Mater Dei (Calif.) athlete Thomas Duarte could be a close second to Baugh. In fact the two could be 1A and 1B. The two can co-exist because UCLA will utilize a 'Y-back' position. Which typically is a player who is a 'tweener' and can play wide receiver or tight end. Duarte is possibly the closest thing to this type of recruit and could be the top option for UCLA.
Once again, like Baugh, Duarte has visited campus a few times and seems to have sincere interest. This would be a tremendous coup for the staff if they are able to lock up these two priorities.
Duarte is the No. 17 ranked tight end in the country.
Other targets of note
As things progress in the class of 2013, expect this list to grow. Dakota Turner, Danny Mattingly and Mitch Parsons are three names to keep an eye on. Mattingly is versatile and can play outside linebacker as well. Parsons is a 'hidden gem' of sorts from Colorado that may be in for a big Spring.
Dakota Turner is a very athletic prospect with great size. Keep an eye on him as UCLA is expected to get underway once again in the next few days with further evaluations.