UCLA rewards tight end Greg Dulcich with scholarship on his birthday

It was a birthday like no other.

Stranded at home, UCLA tight-ended Greg Dulcich and his siblings watched a “King of Queens” marathon at Lifetime on Thursday when they told him his phone was ringing on the other side of the family’s living room.

Dulcich saw Chip call Kelly and thought his coach was just checking in with him to see how he was doing during the new coronavirus outbreak. After exchanging some pleasantries, Kelly got to the point: Dulcich, a freshman walker for red shirts, was going to get a scholarship.

Dulcich thanked his coach, but played it cool until the end of the conversation.

“When I hung up the phone,” said Dulcich, “it was quite loud here.”

He sprinted into the dining room to give his mom a hug before his siblings got together for what Dulcich described as “a big family hug.” They celebrated it at a birthday dinner of chili cheese dogs and chocolate iced chocolate cake, the dessert made the way Dulcich likes it.

Kelly made it clear to Dulcich that the fair was not a birthday present, but a reward for all his hard work. Dulcich caught a 20-yard touchdown pass against the state of San Diego last season and has made the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, needing an average of 3.0 points every quarter since he arrived.

“He was pretty firm about making me feel I deserved it,” said Dulcich, “and it was really cool of him to say so.”

After the departure time of Devin Asiasi, Jordan Wilson and Matt Lynch, Dulcich has gone from the brink of cramped corps to a mainstay. Dulcich and Mike Martinez are the only recurring tight goals scored last season.

That Dulcich received such heartwarming news in a time of global crisis only increased his gratitude for the gesture of his coach.

“I have heard from many people that they are very proud of me and very enthusiastic about it, because it has been a few difficult weeks, so it is certainly nice to understand and just be thankful for everything you have,” Dulcich said. “I think this whole experience is kind of a way for us to understand how grateful we should be and all the stuff we have, we shouldn’t take it for granted.”

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