Austin Roberts declares for NFL draft

UCLA’s tight ends group got a little less crowded on Saturday as redshirt junior Austin Roberts declared for the NFL draft.

The Bruins are expected to get tight end Caleb Wilson back from injury next year and add transfer Devin Asiasi, who sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules. They also have redshirt freshman Jordan Wilson and freshmen Moses Robinson-Carr and Jimmy Jaggers in a stacked tight ends rotation. Robinson-Carr played mostly on special teams this year while Jaggers redshirted.

More on Roberts’ decision (and UCLA’s recruiting class after the addition of offensive lineman Chris Murray)

UCLA football links: Quessenberry, Roberts on Rimington, Mackey watch lists

UCLA’s Austin Roberts makes a catch as he beats Arizona State’s Maurice Chandler during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Among a deep group of tight ends, it’s Austin Roberts that’s gained some national recognition as the junior was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List on Tuesday. The Mackey Award is given to the nation’s best tight end. Marcedes Lewis won the award in 2005, which is the only time a UCLA player was has won it.

Roberts had 15 receptions for 261 yards and a touchdown last year, close to fellow returning tight end Caleb Wilson‘s numbers. Wilson, a one-time USC walk-on, had 16 catches for 220 yards.

After he made it on to the Rimington Trophy’s summer watch list, redshirt senior Scott Quessenberry made the cut for the award’s fall list, which was released Tuesday. The Rimington Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top center, has a 70-man fall watch list, which includes candidates from all conferences. The Pac-12 had seven nominations.

Other links:

Video: Bolu Olorunfunmi, Austin Roberts, Kenny Young

Running back Bolu Olorunfunmi talks about his role in pass protection last week and how he stays confident when the Bruins are the worst running team in the country.

Tight end Austin Roberts talks about the team’s 1-0 mentality, what the offense needs to to do improve and his confidence in Mike Fafaul.

Linebacker Kenny Young talks about facing Colorado and finishing the season out on the strong note.