Chip Kelly says Dorian Thompson-Robinson has always had a chip on his shoulder
Dorian Thompson-Robinson is spicy and it’s a sight to see.
With a straight face, Thompson-Robinson took a blow-torch to USC on Monday when he spoke about his highlight reel plays against Washington. The Bruin quarterback was asked how his hurdle against the Huskies compared to his hurdle of a USC defender in last year’s historic blowout. His answer didn’t disappoint.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I’m more so happy that there were fans to see it, unlike last year at SC where everybody kind of left toward the end of the game. But definitely a cool moment.”
It felt like a switch flipped for UCLA against Washington. The Bruins dominated, at one point being up 40-16 on what was the 15th-ranked team in the country. Thompson-Robinson was the catalyst. After the game, he was the emotional conductor.
“I’m reading through the articles throughout the whole week, people are saying we’re the worst 4-0 team out there, they’re writing us off, so I think my boys came in here with a chip on their shoulder,” Thompson-Robinson said. “I think I told ya’ll on Monday, see if Washington can run with us, not the other way around.”
The fifth-year senior is playing his best ball. Asked earlier this week if he thought Thompson-Robinson was also playing with a chip on his shoulder, coach Chip Kelly said he’s always done so.
“I think Dorian’s had a chip on his shoulder since the day he walked in here. I think that’s what drives him and motivates him in everything he does,” said Kelly. “He’s always kinda played like he’s had a chip on his shoulder, that’s his motivation and that’s what drives him. That’s the competitor that he is. And that’s what you love about him, that he’s the ultimate competitor.
“Whether he’s a true freshman or he’s a fifth-year senior, I don’t think his motivation level has changed at all. He’s always been a fiery competitor and that’s one of the things you love about him, his competitive nature is awesome. So we love to see that, but that’s not something that just all of a sudden he fell into during his fifth year, he’s been like that for five years now.”
The competitor in him was on full display throughout the game. DTR said his favorite play was the forced incompletion he caused on a ball that was nearly intercepted by a UW defensive lineman.
“I think the d-lineman was just as surprised as everybody else that he was getting hit like that, but that’s just Dorian, he’s gonna compete and play whistle-to-whistle all the time,” Kelly said.
The Bruins are searching for respect, but DTR knows it won’t ultimately come from a Week 5 win. It’ll be from what they do to follow it up.
“Right now we’re 5-0, but 5-0 doesn’t get you a championship ring, being 12-0 or whatever it is does,” he said. “We have seven more games left and we have to go out there and finish and we’re going to take it week by week. If we can continue to keep going 1-0 each week, we’ll be pretty damn successful.”