Latest Posts

Dorian Thompson-Robinson eager to unleash the Wolf of Westwood on his doubters

- Advertisement -

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson gestures.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson announces the game during the Bruins’ spring demonstration in April. Thompson-Robinson wants to make the most of his final season at UCLA. (Kyusong Gong / For The Times)

They’ve seen dolphins, shared food, and cruised the waters around Marina del Rey, all thanks to their five-year-old quarterback.

- Advertisement -

Dorian Thompson-Robinson took on the rent of the yacht due to his wealth of name, image and likeness, the Wolf of Westwood shared the trip with his teammates on University of California at Los Angeles resentment.

- Advertisement -

He also gave a speech on the eve of his last college training camp.

- Advertisement -

“I told them all that everything was ready,” said Thompson-Robinson, passing on his directive. “I don’t have a chance for that anymore. I have five more months to fucking love you guys and give you everything I have and I hope you do the same for me.”

And so it begins, the start of the final season for a quarterback who has largely been fired, ignored, and utterly neglected since that day in September 2018, when a real freshman ran out onto the perfectly groomed Rose Bowl field as a replacement for an injured graduate. assisting Wilton Speight in his first college game.

Progress has not been linear, with more losses than wins on his record, but few Bruins have been more fearless as they climbed the high school record charts.

Even after Thompson-Robinson developed historic USC loss, 62–33 as part of a three-game winning streak that ended last season – his overcoming the Trojans guard is now etched in rivalry legends – he was again discredited. Thompson-Robinson was named by the media as the only honorable All-Pac-12 mention since being selected by the first team. Caleb Williams of USC and the choice of the second team Cameron Sunrise Utah.

From some perspective, Williams hasn’t thrown a single pass as a Trojan, and Thompson-Robinson may be just months away from breaking Cade McNown’s all-time record as a Bruin.

What should a veteran do? Just smile baby.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scores a touchdown during a big win against USC in November.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scores a touchdown during a big win against USC in November at the Coliseum. (Allen J. Cockroaches/Los Angeles Times)

Thompson-Robinson seemed appreciative when he met with reporters on Friday after his team’s first training camp, his raspy voice a function of releasing every decibel at his disposal, leading the offense.

“Yelling and yelling and making calls and all that,” he explained, “so I always use my voice.”

There was the usual noise of the first day, the players gathering in (somewhat) orderly lines before rushing forward in practice, the screeching of whistles and the cacophony of coaches yelling orders continuously for about 20 minutes that reporters could watch.

The tone was decidedly optimistic, UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond wears a hat with a rose, despite the fact that his school has not appeared in a Rose Bowl game since January 1, 1999. Freshman wide receiver Braden Pegan won the short open session, no doubt hoping it was a prelude to bigger things.

Left tackle Raikwon O’Neal, who signed from Rutgers, made his debut in practice as part of a revamped offensive line that saw the return of inside linesman Sam Marrazzo after an undisclosed injury. Tight end Mike Martinez and linebacker Damian Sellers were absent, although no explanation was forthcoming given that coach Chip Kelly was not scheduled to meet with reporters until Saturday.

Defenders spent several minutes knocking balls out of teammates’ hands as part of a stripping drill whose conclusions were highlighted by new defensive coordinator Bill McGovern.

Linebacker Bo Calvert joked that the defense was disappointed that they weren’t invited to the boat ride, as Calvert sent a message after his own beach holiday with teammates.

“I took a video,” Calvert said, “and I thought, ‘Hey, all the defenders have rented out the beach. … Dorian took out all the attackers, so the defense was a bit salty about it, but that’s okay.”

Looking out over the training turf glowing in the morning heat on a bright sunny day, Thompson-Robinson was asked what advice he would give to a version of himself preparing for his freshman college season.

It’s all about learning to be a quarterback, he says, which is more difficult than it might seem.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson runs with the ball during the Bruins' spring demonstration in April.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson runs with the ball during the Bruins’ spring demonstration in April. (Kyusong Gong / For The Times)

“Everyone thinks you just go out and throw the ball and you dribble,” Thompson-Robinson said, using quotation marks with his fingers to indicate the ambiguity of the concept. “What leads if you don’t know what you’re doing? So I think it really is. I just go back and try to teach [true freshman quarterback] Justin [Martin] everything I would like to know then, and try to keep him on the right track.

What does leadership mean to Thompson-Robinson?

“For me, being a leader is about loving your teammates, loving what you do every day and showing it with your actions,” he said. “Whatever you do with your actions will be far more transmitted to your teammates than your words, so I think that’s where I grew up and made the most steps in terms of leadership.”

If the Bruins go where none of their predecessors have gone in nearly a quarter of a century, they could point to the quarterback and the Love Boat as the impetus for something special.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Don't Miss