LOS ANGELES >> Alex Van Dyke glanced at UCLA’s thinning tight ends group and noticed an opportunity to get on the sphere. He didn’t essentially suppose he can be getting on the sphere this quick.
Van Dyke, a 6-foot-Four, 215-pound receiver with 5 profession catches, made his on-field debut as a good finish final week towards Oregon after switching positions lower than two weeks in the past. He didn’t have any expertise at tight finish, however he doesn’t care so long as he might help the Bruins (Four-Three, 2-2 Pac-12) on the sphere.
“(I’m) simply an athlete, man,” Van Dyke stated. “It was simply a chance to get on the sphere and I took it.”
With Austin Roberts’ standing unclear after the redshirt junior suffered a excessive ankle sprain final week, Van Dyke might be in line for extra alternatives towards No. 12 Washington (6-1, Three-1 Pac-12) on Saturday as he continues to regulate to his new place.
Seeing Caleb Wilson go down with a season-ending foot damage towards Colorado impressed Van Dyke to method offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and ask for the swap.
The senior warmed up with the tight ends on the street towards Arizona however didn’t get in on offense. Van Dyke was pressed into responsibility towards Oregon after Roberts’ first-quarter damage. He lined up at an H-back place off the road of the scrimmage whereas redshirt freshman Jordan Wilson assumed the everyday tight finish place on the road.
“He can create a match-up drawback as a result of he’s acquired measurement and size and he can run nicely,” head coach Jim Mora stated of Van Dyke as a good finish. “Groups must resolve how they need defend him. I’m positive we’ll simply proceed to increase his position as he learns increasingly more.”
Van Dyke stated tight finish is “a complete new world.” The scale benefit he used to take pleasure in as a receiver towards cornerbacks and safeties is gone towards linebackers and defensive ends. Leverage and blocking approach are much more essential for him to maximise his body towards greater opponents.
His fellow tight ends and coach Rip Scherer are serving to emphasize the brand new blocking footwork.
“It’s undoubtedly thrilling, simply because it’s a brand new face within the room,” Jordan Wilson stated of welcoming Van Dyke into the tight ends group. “It simply ups the competitors as a result of we’re all attempting to play, however it’s extra a very good factor.”
Fisch’s system emphasised tight finish utilization early this 12 months and produced John Mackey Award winner Jake Butt final season at Michigan, however the Bruins are getting determined. True freshman Moses Robinson-Carr, who was purported to redshirt this season, acquired his first snaps on offense final week after taking part in on particular groups in earlier video games.
“It’s time to step up,” Robinson-Carr stated. “We’re taking part in grown-man soccer, so it’s time to do the job or do no matter I can for the workforce.”