UCLA senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson led the Bruins into national ranking after defeating LSU on September 4. He has made at least 50 percent of his passes in their first three games this season and has seven passing touchdowns as of September 21.
Bruins head coach Chip Kelly has watched him develop during the past four years and has witnessed his determination, strong work ethic, and commitment to the game. What Kelly likes the most about Thompson-Robinson is his “thirst for knowledge.”
“He constantly is working on his game, whether it’s the physical stuff, whether it be weight room, speed work, film watching, decision making, how to become a better leader,” Kelly said. “He always wants to get better, [he] knows if he can be a little bit better tomorrow than he was today, he’s on the right track.”
Thompson-Robinson made the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll during the Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 quarters. The resources at UCLA help him excel in his academics.
“When you go to the number one public school in the country and as well as being coached by Chip Kelly, you tie everything together and it makes it all go around,” Thompson-Robinson said. “It really helps you out in the long run.”
He also works hard in the weight room and with the wide receivers. Kelly observed his development through the years and mentioned how toughness is another one of his greater qualities. He recalled Thompson-Robinson’s performance against Oklahoma in 2018.
“We went into Oklahoma, he was getting knocked around a little bit,” Kelly said. “Just kept getting up and threw an unbelievable touchdown pass to (former wide receiver) Theo Howard … I think that’s a quality in a quarterback that people don’t spend enough time talking about.”
During the LSU game, Thompson-Robinson endured four sacks to accumulate 260 passing yards and three touchdowns. He has reached the top 10 in career passing yards at UCLA.
“When you know you’re that close, it will only eat you alive at night,” Thompson-Robinson said. “So, it’s definitely a lot of self-reflecting, going back and watching film and seeing what you did wrong because when you know you’re that close you know that you have to fix a few things here and there.”
During the 2020 season, Thompson-Robinson earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 second team for his efforts. Against USC, he made 83 percent of his passes, the most out of any Bruin since 2005.
“In my opinion at least that’s the best rivalry there is in college sports, just being able to be a part of that, taking in the atmosphere,” Thompson-Robinson said. “I know this year, we’re going to be in the [Coliseum] and they’re gonna pack that out, so you know it’s gonna be fun.”