Duarte Waiting for Right Time

Thomas Duarte

The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei tight end, Thomas Duarter, is waiting for the right time to make a decision...

Last Friday night, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei High School scored three touchdowns in the last six minutes of the game to come back and defeat Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany in the CIF quarterfinals.

Senior tight-end Thomas Duarte (6-3, 225) came off the field grateful for the way his team pulled together.

"I'm feeling like I'm on cloud nine right now," said Duarte. "I'm humbled by this experience. We pulled together as a true team tonight."

Duarte, who has received offers from several 1 schools across the country, has narrowed his interest down to Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington.

Although the plan earlier in the year was to make official visits to Oregon for the Stanford game, and Notre Dame for the Pitt game, Duarte made a choice to hold off his visits and focus his attention on the season at hand.

"I re-looked it over with my parents, and didn't really want to at the moment. I love Notre Dame, I'd love to get out there, but I didn't feel like it was time, I felt like I needed to be here with my team and show them that I put this team first." said Duarte.

Duarte proved that commitment to his team with an outstanding performance Friday with five receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, two tackles and a sack.

The win over the weekend advanced the Monarchs to the CIF-SS Pac-5 semifinals where they will face powerhouse Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure next Friday.

"I'm excited, real excited. Its the semi-finals, haven't been back since I was a sophomore so real excited. Excited to get on the road again. I mean, this is my last game here at the bowl, but we made it a great one." Duarte said.

In the meantime, Duarte is still considering his options for the future, but not making any official plans.

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