Chip Kelly made his long-awaited UCLA coaching debut on Saturday in a half-empty Rose Bowl against Cincinnati. His team lost, but I’m here to tell you why Bruins fans shouldn’t worry.
Programs don’t get revamped in the matter of months. Kelly had limited time to put his coaching staff together and get last minute recruits to commit to UCLA this offseason. Fortunately, one recruit that was already committed to the Bruins prior to Kelly’s arrival decided to stick around.
That player’s name is quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Remember that name.
The true freshmen entered Saturday's game after Wilton Speight (yes, he still is somehow playing college football) re-injured his back that he previously hurt during his 2017 campaign at Michigan.
"DTR", as they call Thompson-Robinson for short, didn’t waste anytime showing people why he could be Chip's next Marcus Mariota.
OK! I see you Dorian! Although the entire UCLA offense struggled for most of the game, DTR showed some positive flashes that you want to see out of the next face of your program.
On this rep, DTR proved he's got a CANNON.
First of all, WOAH! That was some serious arm talent for a kid that has only started one season as a quarterback in High School. Secondly, that was an amazing catch by TE Caleb Wilson - keep an eye on him for the 2019 NFL Draft.
On this next play, DTR showcased his ability as a legitimate dual-threat QB, which Chip Kelly craves in his offense.
It wasn't a huge gain, but DTR's agility and elusiveness was on display.
There are going to be some highlight reel plays from DTR as he grows in Kelly's system. Chip knows he has a potential star in Thompson-Robinson, and I can't wait to watch him grow as a player in this offensive system.
Finally, I hate to inform any Pac-12 fans that don't know this already, but Chip Kelly already has his next De'Anthony Thomas. His name is Kazmeir Allen, and he is The Black Mamba 2.0.
See for yourself on this play below.
Kazmeir is a 5-foot-8, 174-pound track star. UCLA's true freshmen broke the national High School record last year for touchdowns in a single-season with 72. -- yes, 72 Touchdowns. He is going to be a fun player in Chip's offense.
Although the opener was a disappointment for Kelly and UCLA in terms of not being able to pick up the win, there are plenty of bright spots for this program going forward. Chip needs time, and he will get it in Westwood. Give the man one or two full recruiting classes and watch out... The Pac-12 after dark will soon be must watch TV again.