Duarte Will Announce on Friday

Thomas Duarte

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei tight end Thomas Duarte has consistently said all year he wanted to take his official visits in January before making his decision. The athlete has since had a change of plans...

Thomas Duarte had a huge senior season at receiver and defensive end earning numerous post-season honors. He's being recruited as a hybrid tight end/H-Back in college but is playing a traditional tight end role this week during the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

"It's definitely a new role for me," Duarte said. "I'm used to lining up as a receiver and being moved around so when the coaches told me to go over with the offensive lineman, it was something new. I didn't block a lot in our offense but it's all good, I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be out here with all these great players.

"This is such a huge honor for me. These are high caliber athletes from all over the country and just the opportunity to talk with them and get to know the guys is a great experience. Hopefully I'll get some balls thrown my way in the game but overall, I'm having a great time."

On the recruiting front, Duarte has five schools on his list and plans to make his college choice on Friday during the Semper Fi game.

"I have Oregon, Notre Dame, UCLA, USC and Washington," Duarte said. "I know I didn't take any of my official visits but I have visited all of them unofficially except Notre Dame and I talked with their coaches a lot and feel comfortable with them. I camped with Washington, saw Oregon play USC in Oregon last year and have been to UCLA and USC numerous times.

"For me, I felt like it was the right time and I feel real good about the school I'm choosing. I'm looking for that family feel and atmosphere, a place where I'll be really comfortable and I think I have that. All five of these schools are great places. USC still hasn't offered yet, they keep saying to wait and they're close but I don't think I can wait around much longer. I know I can't go wrong with any of these schools but one school really stands out and feels like home to me and that's who I'll be choosing on Friday."

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 Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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