UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson keeps hurdling defenders; he says they're planned
At this point, you could fill a photo album with images of Dorian Thompson-Robinson hurdling would-be defenders.
It’s become a weekly possibility. If you give the athletic and acrobatic UCLA quarterback an opening, trust he’s going to take it. Thompson-Robinson has made defenders at Washington and Arizona State look foolish on national television this season. He highlighted a historic win over USC last year with a similar kind of move.
The senior was asked about his highlight hurdles this week and shared a bit of insight.
“If you watch on my hurdles, I always do a move before to set it up, so I’ll square them up right away or I’ll do something to make them drop their hips and as soon as I see the hip drop, it’s over with,” he said.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson: "If you watch on my hurdles, I always do a move before to set it up, so I’ll square them up right away or I’ll do something to make them drop their hips and as soon as I see the hip drop, it’s over with." https://t.co/MIINolsTf7
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) November 7, 2022
Thompson-Robinson was particularly effective in the Bruins’ win over Arizona State this past weekend. UCLA was missing lead runner Zach Charbonnet, but still managed over 400 rushing yards. Thompson-Robinson supplied 120 yards on 10 carries.
“I know there have been teams in the past that have accounted for me in both the pass and the run game, but I have yet to think it’s worked out well for people,” he told reporters this week. “Teams kind of want to keep everything in front of them and zone coverage is a big part of that and making sure everybody has eyes on the quarterback at all times, but when guys get deep drop zones and they still get yards downfield and stuff like that, I can still scramble through, so I personally think zone is better than a spy, but who am I to say?”
In anticipation of that, Thompson-Robinson says he’ll watch film the night before a game and specifically focus on tackle tendencies. He takes a mental list into the game of guys he might be able to catch.
“The night before every game I watch tape and I only watch tape on tackle tendencies — how guys tackle, especially open field, and especially when some teams play mobile quarterbacks, how they tackle the quarterback — so that kind of gives me an idea of how guys in the field are tackling and who’s more of an ankle-biter than not and who has more of a solid tackle technique,” he said. “I definitely know who to kind of pick my spots at when I’m on the field and know who to attack if I am going to hurdle, but I think it’s something pre-planned for sure.”
So, we’ll just have to wait and see who he goes after — or, more specifically, over — on Saturday against Arizona. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on FOX.
Until then, check out Thompson-Robinson below:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 6, 2022
WHEN WILL THEY LEARN!?
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) November 6, 2022
DTR with the high hurdle pic.twitter.com/baXkakMX7U
— Robert Chavez (@_RobertChavez) October 1, 2022
He's a runner, he's a track star. @DorianTweets HURDLES over a Trojan defender for his second running TD of the game!
UCLA 55, USC 33
3:47 – 4th Quarter
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) November 21, 2021