As UCLA Football’s season nears, it is time to take a look at each position with a preseason preview, kicking off with the quarterback position.
Quarterback play has been a problem for UCLA Football ever since Josh Rosen left for the NFL in 2018.
However, before former head coach Jim Mora Jr. was fired, he picked up a commitment from one of the top quarterbacks in the Class of 2018, Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Three years later, DTR is due to be the Bruins’ starting quarterback for the third consecutive season. He split time with Wilton Speight his freshman year, but started every game for the Bruins last season with mixed results.
Thompson-Robinson thrived in his first season under Chip Kelly, throwing for 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while rushing for four touchdowns. Thompson-Robinson threw for 14 more touchdowns than his freshman season despite playing in just two more games.
In his second season under Kelly, DTR’s expectations will be much higher. With the departure of some of the conferences top quarterbacks, namely Jacob Eason, Anthony Gordon, and Justin Herbert, Thompson-Robinson has the chance to be one of the PAC-12’s top quarterbacks.
While DTR is the sure starter for all of next season, in case of injury, the backup quarterback is Chase Yankoff. Yankoff is a rising sophomore and pocket-passer, practically the opposite of Thompson-Robinson.
Yankoff is the leading candidate to take over after Thompson-Robinson’s time at UCLA is over, but for now, it’s DTR’s team. Thompson-Robinson will look to improve on last seasons breakout, and with even more progression, he could vault the Bruins back to the top of the Pac-12.