Dorian Thompson-Robinson from Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) is ranked among the top 50 prospects in the Class of 2018 and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback. His mother, Dr. Melva Thompson-Robinson, is a professor at UNLV, the director for the Center for Health Disparities Research, and the Social and Behavioral Health Program Coordinator. She got a window into football recruiting through her son and is sharing her thoughts about the process and more with USA TODAY Sports. This is her final edition of her diary.
I’m not so sure I’ll be trading in my Maize and Blue, but make no bones about it in the Fall of 2018, I will be donning the Hero Blue and Gold that are synonymous with Westwood and will have my “4s Up.”
As a Michigan-alum, as a huge fan of Michigan football, there is a part of me that is a little sad, a little disappointed he didn’t decide to go to Michigan. At the same time, I understand, I respect his decision and I am extremely happy that he’s going to a top-notch school academically. It’s a school he chose. It’s a decision he made.
I’m also very happy that I won’t have to pay for school – that’s huge. But the fact he can go where he wants to go and he can study what he wants to study, that’s the big thing. And ultimately, I want to see him happy. That’s the key thing for me, that he had this opportunity, that he made this decision early in the process is a good thing.
Sunday night was the culmination of what’s been a whirlwind process I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, albeit at times it became a frenzy of emotions. A big part of me is glad all this is over because things can settle down. That’s not to say coaches won’t be coming to Gorman’s practices, or that people won’t be interested. He’ll probably still pick up offers, I’m sure. But in terms of the pressure of having to get places, to decide on school – that piece, I’m glad it’s over.
To recap the last few days, there was some anxiousness. People were asking me “do you know, what’s going on, can you tell us where he’s going?” And I’ll tell them “nope,” or “I don’t know.” A lot of people were really excited. They wanted to know where he was going and what’s happening. They’ve been following him for a while, so they really are just interested what’s going to happen next.
He confirmed with me his final decision last Wednesday. I told one of my cousins Saturday night because I knew she was coming over for a little celebration we were having. I asked her to bring a cake and we were talking about what to put on the cake. People I’ve had discussions with, and sort of talked to all along, about the recruiting process, I would drop a hint and leave it at that. Others, I said he hadn’t told me yet. The one fortunate thing for me was I’ve been sick since our trip to Ann Arbor, so I didn’t talk to a lot of people last week.
On some level, for me, leading up to Sunday night’s announcement became a little nerve-wracking. Mainly because there was a little concern about the reaction he was going to get from people on social media. But it’s also been exciting, to see on social media my friends from high school, and from undergrad and graduate school, people I’ve worked with over the years, former students of mine – everyone was just really excited for my family.
But through it all, after I received a message from my son’s girlfriend’s mother I think I almost cried. She congratulated me and told me what a great young man my son is. She told me what an outstanding person he is, and that I’ve done a good job with him as a mom. And that was really kind of touching, because it went above and beyond football. It really spoke to me, what another mother thought of Dorian as a person.
On Sunday, Dorian wasn’t home most of the day, so it was quiet around the house. I made a special dinner for us, and had family over. I was on my way to pick up Dorian about the time he was set to tweet his announcement and that became kind of interesting. And as I’m driving, I hear my phone blowing up with notifications. It was then I realized it was out there and everything was starting. And when I got him home, everyone there was congratulatory. We took pictures and ate some cake. We were just enjoying the experience.
I made sure I posted it on Facebook when I got home, so family and personal friends could see it. But it got to the point with notifications and answering messages, and the battery on my phone started dying.
We also started trying to figure out when we could get to UCLA for a visit. Their spring game is this Saturday, but it’s been a little too much. Coach Fisch keeps asking me if we’re coming, but I told him we just can’t. This has been an exhausting process.
In wrapping up this three-part diary series, I can honestly say this recruiting experience has probably been one of the wildest experiences that I’ve ever been on. At the same time, it was one of the most rewarding experiences. You must keep it in perspective, that this is about getting an education paid for, and ideally playing football at the best possible level. But at the end of the day it’s about an education, and you must be willing to go along for the ride and enjoy it.