Dorian Thompson-Robinson has garnered some solid national praise this week.
After earning one of the 80 spots on the 2021 Maxwell Award Watch List on Monday, the rising senior quarterback was named to the 2021 Davey O'Brien Award Preseason Watch List on Tuesday. Thompson-Robinson was one of the five Pac-12 players recognized by the Maxwell Football Club, which hands out the college football player of the year award, joining USC quarterback Kedon Slovis, Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, Utah quarterback Charlie Brewer and Stanford running back Austin Jones.
The O'Brien Award is given to the best quarterback in the nation, with its preseason watch list starting at only 30 players. Slovis, Daniels and Brewer were again nominated alongside Thompson-Robinson.
In a shortened 2020 season made even shorter for Thompson-Robinson – who missed two games due to COVID-19 contact tracing and another half game with an injury – the Bruin signal-caller still put up some career numbers. Thompson-Robinson passed for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns, rushing for another 338 yards and three scores.
UCLA's quarterback set personal bests last year with a 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, a 65.2% completion percentage and a 156.3 passer rating, which ranked second in the Pac-12 behind Oregon's Tyler Shough, who has since transferred to Texas Tech.
Stretching Thompson-Robinson's 4.5-game production out to a standard 12-game season, he was on pace for 2,987 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, 901 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Should he put up those kind of numbers in a full 2021 season, Thompson-Robinson could find himself flirting with a finalist spot for these national awards when December rolls around.
The National College Football Awards Association announces preseason watch lists for 16 awards every summer, starting with the Bednarik and Maxwell Awards and ending with the Walter Camp Award. While several other Bruins may get nods on any number of those lists, Thompson-Robinson will likely have to wait until the Walter Camp Award watch list is announced July 30 before possibly hearing his name called again.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation picks 40 athletes to honor on its watch list, with FBS head coaches and sports information directors voting at season's end to honor the nation's most outstanding player.
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