Projected UCLA football starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was not named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list, but he will in 2020.
The Davey O’Brien Award watch list was announced today. This award honors the nation’s top quarterback, and though several Pac-12 signal-callers were named to the list, there was not a representative from the UCLA football team.
It is being projected that Dorian Thompson-Robinson will be the Bruins’ starting QB this season and though he helped the Bruins improve as the season progressed, an injury and inexperience held him back. This would be, I assume, the reason he was not added to the list of 30 quarterbacks for the O’Brien Award.
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This is fair. DTR did not play a full season and with the offense underperforming, it is hard to gauge how well he actually did in 2018. As a whole, his season could be described as a work in progress, but when you take a deeper look, you will see that Thompson-Robinson flashed on several occasions.
What stood out is how he did under pressure, especially in big games. Against the Bruins’ fiercest opponents, Oklahoma and Washington, DTR’s had his two best passing games as he threw for 254 and 272 yards, respectively. Against Cal (which turned out to be UCLA’s first win of the season), DTR had 141 yards but also had his best game completing passes as he connected on 86.7% of his throws. He even added 27 yards rushing in that game. This gives us hope for the future.
This past spring, Thompson-Robinson was QB1 and did a decent job. Not that we were expecting him to have a stellar performance, but he looked like he was taking a step in the right direction. His accuracy was slowly improving, he was running the ball more, and above all, he stepped onto the field with a lot of confidence.
That is why we believe that DTR will be an outstanding quarterback next season. He might not have made it to the preseason O’Brien Award watch list, but if he makes significant progress in 2019, there is no doubt he makes it in 2020.
DTR is very gifted and has the determination to become a great college quarterback, and under the tutelage of Chip Kelly, we can speculate that he can become one of the better QBs in, not just the conference, but in the nation.