BEAVERTON, Ore. — Dorian Thompson-Robinson is unique among the quarterbacks at Nike’s The Opening because this will be his first year as a full-time starter under center for Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
While he saw plenty of mop-up duty the past two seasons behind Tate Martell, now at Ohio State, Thompson-Robinson caught five more touchdown passes last season than the three he threw.
The UCLA commit sees his time as a receiver benefiting his quarterback skills, however.
“Playing wide receiver really helped me out,” Thompson-Robinson said. “I know talking with Jerry Rice (one of the coaches at The Opening) that you know where the receivers are going to be, where they want the ball. It kind of helps to build chemistry with them.”
While he saw plenty of pressure situations, he acknowledges there’s a difference being the leader on a team that is looking to be the second to win four consecutive Super 25 football titles. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) did so from 2000 to 2003.
“Last year, I played receiver to help the team out,” he said. “There really wasn’t any pressure on me. This year, I get to be the guy — I have the keys. There’s not any added pressure, it’s just that I know in the situation I have to do all the little things right for us to be successful.”
Throwing to elite-level receivers here Thursday was a fun experience, he said. Despite reports that Southern Cal is wooing him, he remains solidly with the Bruins.
“It’s definitely eye-opening, because I’ll throw a ball that I feel is a terrible ball and they’ll go up under it and get it and make it look pretty,” he said. “It’s really cool being around these guys and I’m really trying to recruit them to UCLA. There are three of four guys out here that I’m trying to get in their ear.”
While Gorman’s schedule has fewer out-of-state opponents than in past years because the Gales now have six region games, those four are still very difficult. In the first four weeks, Gorman plays host to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), at Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), at home against Central (Miami) and at home against California Open Division runner-up De La Salle.
“It’s like second-nature to us to play those type of teams,” Thompson-Robinson said. “We expect those games, we look forward to those guys. Compared to those, the in-state games are boring because maybe you get to play a quarter or two.”