Being a mother of a teenager isn’t always easy. But being the mother to a Top-100 recruit in 2017 makes the task even more challenging – and interesting.
For Melva T. Robinson – mother of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman recruit Dorian Thompson-Robinson – raising her All-American quarterback son has been, understandably, entirely different from raising her older son and younger daughter.
She receives calls constantly from coaches, followed by three times as many text messages. Sometimes she hears about Dorian’s offers before anyone else, and sometimes she finds out on Twitter. Sometimes she’s the first to know the last coach Dorian spoke with. And sometimes, again, she finds out in a tweet.
Their relationship has always been tight, and it’s going to get a whole lot tighter soon, when the two embark on some spring unofficial visits – and road trips – all across the country.
“Dorian has always been a quiet kid to me,” his mother said. “On the field, he gets loud and more into it. But, to me, and at home, he’s always been a quiet, on-his-own kid. A coach told me, in the beginning, that he was going to be a 50-offer kid. … I thought, ‘Yeah, OK, coach.’ But, before his senior season, without playing quarterback yet, we’re halfway there.”
Wait, Thompson-Robinson, a Top-50 prospect and the nation’s No. 4 overall dual-threat QB recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite, hasn’t even started at his college position yet?
That’s right. Tate Martell led the Gaels of Bishop Gorman for the past three seasons, winning three national championships in a row. Martell enrolled early at Ohio State this winter, thus leaving the starting job up for grabs with only one guy in contention – Thompson-Robinson.
Imagine having 20-plus FBS offers. Now imagine having that many before there’s any legitimate film on you at your position. That’s the beautiful reality for Thompson-Robinson, who has a real chance to achieve the 50 offers that one coach predicted just a couple years ago.
With all of those offers and more undoubtedly on the way, Thompson-Robinson has less than a year until the next National Signing Day. And while he might feel like he should be in a rush to commit, his mother wants him to go as slow as possible.
“I know that in today’s recruiting, coaches want their quarterbacks to commit early so that they can recruit other players and enroll early,” she said. “I know that Dorian wants to try to do that, attempting to commit in May.
“But I want him to wait as long as he can to see all of the schools, and talk to all of the coaches. I want him to wait until National Signing Day so he knows. But, if he thinks he’s found his spot before then, then I won’t stop him from that.”
Robinson’s role in her son’s recruitment isn’t like that of some mothers. Often, coaches have to win mom over, even if the kid wants the school 100 percent. And, while schools certainly will be — and are — trying to win her over, that won’t play a major role in her son’s decision.
Wherever he feels is best, is where he will go, she said. But that doesn’t mean Robinson won’t be touring around with her 4-star son.
“Oh, I’m for sure going on the visits,” she said with a laugh. “I’m driving, I’m paying for it – I’m going. Plus, I want to see the place where he will end up for the next few years at college, wherever it is. We’re going to Miami, Michigan and UCLA as of right now.
“I’d imagine, after Dorian received his Alabama offer, that we will end up there, too.”
For Thompson-Robinson, who seems to have a group of three favorites that look an awful lot like the three his mother mentioned, it’s always appeared to be a tight battle between Michigan and UCLA.
— DTR. (@DoriansTweets) December 23, 2016
UCLA received an edge when it hired Jedd Fisch – Michigan’s former QBs coach and Thompson-Robinson’s main recruiter – as its offensive coordinator. But his mother is a graduate of Michigan.
“When he was growing up, we always had Michigan football playing,” she said. “Still, (even) if I’m busy, I’ll pull it up on my phone and watch. But, believe it or not, Dorian grew up an Ohio State fan, and he was Alabama fan for a little bit, too. But mostly an Ohio State fan while growing up.”
He and the Buckeyes don’t sound as if the two have too much mutual interest, so the door is wide open for the school where his mother got her degree from.
And, in Las Vegas, as he has been in California, Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh has been extremely well-received.
“Coach Harbaugh … he’s funny, but he’s interesting,” Robinson said with a laugh. “My oldest son asked me about how Harbaugh does crazy stuff when he’s recruiting. He asked me, ‘If he does all of this crazy stuff for a kicker, a linebacker, etc., what is he going to for us?’ Being a 49ers fan, he really likes Harbaugh.”
So between taking visits with her son in the spring (and official visits during the fall), being a full-time professor at UNLV’s school of community health sciences and raising two other kids, Thompson-Robinson’s mother has a lot on her plate the next few months leading up to her son’s decision.
The Wolverines got a commitment for its class in 2017 QB from Dylan McCaffrey in late February 2016. If Thompson-Robinson hits his target of May, then it would still be in plenty of time to recruit others to the class of 2018 with a chance to enroll early.
Can Michigan land its No. 1 overall target? More on that another time.