Swanson: UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson has grown up, into a leader


LOS ANGELES — Dorian Thompson-Robinson greeted every reporter at UCLA’s Wasserman Football Center with a hello and a handshake, very much the host welcoming guests to his home.

Which, well, yeah.

Thompson-Robinson – or “DTR,” as he doesn’t mind being called – is from Las Vegas. But he’s grown up in Westwood.

From cub to man, the now-22-year-old quarterback is embarking on his fifth season as Bruin, back on campus for the start of training camp on Friday because he opted – against Coach Chip Kelly’s advice, actually – to return as a “super senior.”

Thompson-Robinson is taking advantage of the COVID-19 eligibility extension the NCAA granted all student-athletes who were affected by the pandemic.

He’s no longer the 18-year-old who was thrust into the unforgiving spotlight in his first game as a college freshman – without having even been a full-time quarterback in high school until his senior season – when starter Wilton Speight suffered a back injury.

Now Thompson-Robinson is officially one of the guys to watch, appearing on both the Davey O’Brien Award and Maxwell Award watch lists.

He’s the guy who used some of his new name, image and likeness earnings to take his offensive teammates on a boating trip. It was a pre-camp, team-building excursion from which they’ll take memories of having seen dolphins at play – and insight about how the youngest among them might play right away, as Thompson-Robinson did.

“I let all those guys know at the boat … ‘You guys have an opportunity to play,’” Thompson-Robinson said. “‘But only if you do the work that it takes.’”

Getting on the field is one thing, producing requires even more work. Especially when you’re the quarterback at UCLA.

“You gotta learn how to be a quarterback. Everybody thinks you just go out there and throw a ball and you ‘lead,’” …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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