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The names of Kedon Slovis and Jayden Daniels have become synonymous with the “Top QB in the PAC-12” debate but UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson makes a strong case to end that discussion. Here’s why.

Despite an up and down sophomore season, Dorian Thompson-Robinson showed major improvements from his freshman season. Even though UCLA brought in a four-star pro-style quarterback Parker McQuarrie, DTR has proven that he is the Bruins’ signal-caller in 2020.

Coming off a 2,701 yard and 21 touchdown season, Thompson-Robinson looks to utilize his experience, weaponry, and ability to bring UCLA better success than last year.

Game Experience

Out of every starting QB in the PAC-12, Thompson-Robinson is the most experienced. Decision-making was a key issue in his sophomore season. To win games, you must make fewer mistakes than your opponent so with some lessons learned from last year, Thompson-Robinson will show that he’s a much better quarterback than his inexperienced competition. 

With experience comes leadership and DTR has already shown his ability to bring a team together and rally from behind. Need proof? Take a look at UCLA’s historic comeback victory against the 19th ranked Washington State in 2019. Passing for 507 yards and 5 touchdowns, DTR led his team to erase a 32-point deficit. This type of in-game experience will prove valuable in the season to come.

Weapons

With Joshua Kelley “bolting” to the NFL (Pun intended), Do-it-all running back Demetric Felton will look to have a bigger impact on the offense. Finishing the season with 925 all-purpose yards, Felton will look to be a top option for DTR in both the passing and run game.

Another key loss for the Bruins was tight end Devin Asiasi leaving for the NFL. Chip Kelly’s offense is very tight end heavy but despite the lack of production from the current depth chart, the team will lean on redshirt freshman Michael Churich, sophomore Mike Martinez, redshirt sophomore Greg Dulcich and Miami transfer Evidence Njoku in hopes of production.

Veteran receivers Kyle Phillips, Chase Cota Jr., Jaylen Erwin, and Delon Hurt return to the fold. Add redshirt freshman Charles Njoku and Four-star recruit Logan Loya to this group and this receiving corps will be a dangerous threat.

Ability

There are two words to describe Chip Kelly’s offense and that is “elite pace”. Kelly was able to torch NFL defenses with his quick tempo offense whenever he had the right quarterback in his system.

The 2018 four-star recruit was highly regarded as the 2 ranked quarterback and player of his class due to not only his passing ability but his ability to make plays with his legs. Given his experience, Head Coach Chip Kelly has given DTR more freedom in the offense. 

Defensive coordinators will have pre-game nightmares on how to not only contain UCLA’s talented weapons on offense but perhaps the biggest threat on the field: The Dual-Threat Quarterback. With 21 passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns in an inconsistent season, you could only imagine how strong DTR’s stats will be with more confidence and freedom in this deadly offense.

Overview

When you take the experience, the number of weapons, and the natural ability of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, you have undoubtedly one of the best quarterbacks in the PAC-12. You can keep Slovis and Daniels. My money is on the quarterback at UCLA.

UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) attempts a pass in the fourth quarter; Cal at UCLA, November 30, 2019, Los Angeles, CA. Photo Credit: Steve Cheng | Under Creative Commons License

UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) attempts a pass in the fourth quarter; Cal at UCLA, November 30, 2019, Los Angeles, CA. Photo Credit: Steve Cheng | Under Creative Commons License

Jalon Hill

Author Jalon Hill

Hello! My name is Jalon Hill. I am a native of Rocky Mount, NC but currently reside in Durham, NC. I am a current senior at North Carolina Central University, majoring in Mass Communications with a double concentration in Journalism and Broadcasting. As a former high school football player, I decided that even though my playing days were over I wanted to continue following the game that I love. A love for writing made this dream possible. I’ve held the position of Sports Editor for my school newspaper, The Campus Echo and worked as a freelance sportswriter for the Raleigh News and Observer as well as worked for other news outlets and magazines. I also have experience as a social media page manager. Outside of journalism, I love working out, spending time with friends and family, and watching Amazon Prime videos.

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