UCLA tight end reportedly no longer with the program at mid-point of fall camp
Mike Martinez is no longer with the UCLA football program.
Head coach Chip Kelly revealed the news to local reporters on Tuesday after practice, according to The Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch. He did not give a reason for Martinez’s departure.
According to Bolch, Martinez had not participated in practice since the spring. He was recovering from a leg injury that limited him to just three games during the 2021 season.
“You’ve got to compensate,” Kelly said, via Bolch. “We feel good about our tight end room. They’re working extremely hard and I think it’s a really, really good group. … It may be our deepest position on both sides of the ball.”
The group features fifth-year senior Michael Ezeike (a converted receiver), fifth-year junior David Priebe, fourth-year juniors Hudson Habermehl and Michael Churich, and true freshmen Carsen Ryan and Jack Pedersen.
UCLA has had a tight end catch at least 40 balls in each of Kelly’s first three full seasons with the program. Greg Dulcich caught 26 passes in seven games in 2020. The group figures to once again be a featured part of the attack.
But Martinez’s loss will be felt, even though the 6-foot-7, 266-pounder has just six receptions for 70 yards and one score to his name in three seasons with the program. He played in all 12 games in 2019 as a freshman, then all seven games in 2020. He was among the highest-graded blocking tight ends in the Pac-12 last season, per PFF, and deployed frequently as a blocker in each of his first two years.