UCLA Football Position Grades: Quarterbacks

Dorian Thompson-Robinson Throwing Against Oregon. Photo Credit: Eric Hurd | UCLA Athletics
Dorian Thompson-Robinson Throwing Against Oregon. Photo Credit: Eric Hurd | UCLA Athletics

UCLA Football Position Grades: Quarterbacks

It may only be summer, but boy are we stoked, psyched, pumped, crazed (insert any awesome adjective) for some College Football!

We at LAFB have decided to grade each position group for UCLA on both offense and defense on how talented we feel they are with grades from A to F to get you ready and prepared for the upcoming season

The first position group we have decided to grade happens to be the most important on the offensive side of the ball, and luckily for Bruin fans, the strongest: The QBs.

The UCLA Quarterback Room

One name all Bruin Football fans are accustomed to is that of the exciting Dorian Thompson-Robinson AKA DTR. DTR can kill defenses through the air and on the ground making him exceptionally tough to prepare for. 

Dorian, who has been the starter since the 2018 season, really put it all together last year in 2021 as he tied his career-high for TD passes in a single season (21) while more than doubling his career-high in rushing TDs (9) and nearly doubling his career-high in rushing yards (608). DTR also has his eyes on the record book as he needs roughly 3,200 passing yards to eclipse Cade McNown as the all-time passing leader in Bruins History, 15 TD passes to beat Brett Hundley’s record of 75, and 567 rushing yards to have the most rushing yards by a QB in program history. DTR will have his shot to close out his final chapter in the Rose Bowl on an incredibly high note.

The backup spot however is wide open. Ethan Garbers, the former Washington transfer is looking to retain his spot from last season as QB2. Garbers is a solid option and showed some very promising flashes. Yes, I know, he threw the game-sealing INT against Oregon BUT for a moment it looked like he was going to lead UCLA to glory on the final drive making a few big completions.Yes, I know as well the next week UCLA got smoked on the road to Utah but Garbers didn’t look awful as he went 27-44 through the air for 2 TDs and 1 INT.

The other serious contender that is generating some serious buzz is true Freshman Justyn Martin, a 6 foot 4 Pro-Style QB from Inglewood High School with a right arm that would make most QBs jealous. Martin was a standout that famously threw 13 TDs in a game and had offers from many of the great programs around the country (Michigan, Oregon, and I guess we’ll lump USC in here but begrudgingly).

After a standout spring, Martin might be in a prime position to overtake Garbers as second on the depth chart while holding the keys to UCLA’s offense for 2022 and beyond.  

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Last but certainly not least is the kid Chase Griffin, who if not playing on the football field, will either go to the Moon, run for and win President of the United States, and cure world hunger before all is said and done (seriously look up his accolades, the kid is impressive!).

Chase, unfortunately, got buried on the depth chart last season with the addition of Garbers but was a productive passer in his three starts in 2020 against Oregon, Arizona, and Stanford including throwing 4 TDs against Stanford in a 1 point loss in double OT. If worst comes to worst and Griffin has to come in, he has starter experience and can make plays when needed.

Overall I’d give this group a very strong grade of an A-.  Having three QBs on the roster with starting experience plus a highly touted true freshman makes me believe that this crew is arguably the deepest QB room in the PAC-12.

That begs the question though…who should be QB #2 when the Bruins play their first game of the season on September 3rd against Bowling Green at the Rose Bowl? What do you think?

Dorian Thompson-Robinson Throwing Against Oregon. Photo Credit: Eric Hurd | UCLA Athletics

Dorian Thompson-Robinson Throwing Against Oregon. Photo Credit: Eric Hurd | UCLA Athletics