UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson returning for fifth season

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Dorian Thompson-Robinson is sticking around at UCLA for another year.

Thompson-Robinson, UCLA’s starting quarterback for the past four seasons, announced on Monday that he will be back for a fifth season. Thompson-Robinson has one more season of eligibility, thanks to the additional year provided by the NCAA amid the pandemic.

Thompson-Robinson has been UCLA’s starting quarterback for the entirety of Chip Kelly’s tenure with the Bruins. UCLA went a combined 10-21 in Kelly’s first three seasons as head coach. This year, the Bruins broke through and finished the year 8-4 while leading the Pac-12 in scoring offense at 36.5 points per game.

Thompson-Robinson has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career, but struggled at times with turnovers and decision-making. The 2021 season was his best. As a passer, Thompson-Robinson went for 2,409 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 62.2% of his attempts. He also added 609 yards and nine scores on the ground.

For his career, Thompson-Robinson has thrown for 7,541 yards and 61 touchdowns to go with 1,181 yards and 16 scores rushing. He ranks in the top five in program history in passing yards, total offense, completions and touchdown passes.

Thompson-Robinson’s announcement is significant for UCLA on the heels of UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel flipping his commitment to Oklahoma. Gabriel, a three-year starter, announced he was headed to UCLA on Dec. 16. Gabriel looked like the replacement for Thompson-Robinson, who many assumed would head to the NFL.

A few weeks later, after Oklahoma lost Caleb Williams to the transfer portal, Gabriel announced a commitment to OU, where he will reunite with Jeff Lebby. Lebby recruited Gabriel to UCF and is now Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator.

If Thompson-Robinson had moved on, UCLA would have been left with Ethan Garbers as its top option at quarterback. Garbers, a transfer from Washington, was Thompson-Robinson’s backup this past season.

FILE - UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson pulls back to throw a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against California on Nov. 27, 2021, in Pasadena, Calif. Thompson-Robinson was voted to The Associated Press All Pac-12 team on Friday, Dec. 10. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson pulls back to throw a pass against California on Nov. 27, 2021, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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