BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Melva Thompson-Robinson can’t wait to attend her class reunion at Danbury High School in September, and not just to see old classmates and the village where she grew up. Her son, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a football star at UCLA is now getting rave reviews from The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cleveland Browns after being drafted in the fifth round this year.
The young 6-foot-2, 205-pound quarterback seemed destined to be third, or maybe even fourth, on the quarterback chart for the Browns, behind Joshua Hobbs and Kellen Mond, but hold your horses!
PD sports columnist Terry Pluto and Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot are now singing the young QB’s praises after he completed 17 of 21 passes for 184 yards — despite limited action — in the Browns first two pre-season games against the New York Jets and Washington Commanders.
Both writers say Thompson-Robinson, know as DTR to his friends and teammates, is an accurate passer, a confident player and has studiously become familiar with the Browns’ extensive playbook.
“He’s had a good football camp so far,” said Melva, who is now a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the Advisor to the Dean of Nursing. She studied at the University of Michigan, and earned a doctorate in health promotion in education at the university of South Carolina. She has taught at UNLV since 2004.
Melva graduated from Danbury High School in 1985, where she was an outstanding student-athlete, playing basketball and running track. Her mother, Ireesa Thompson, taught business classes at Port Clinton High School, and her father, Raymond Robinson, worked at General Motors in Sandusky.
“I certainly remember Ireesa Thompson,” said Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider. “She was a wonderful teacher, and my home room teacher for all four of my years at Port Clinton High School.”
Melva remembers her years in Marblehead, and fondly recalls living along the shores of Lake Erie. The winters? Not so much.
“I was a Browns fan back then and loved watching quarterback Bernie Kosar,” she said. “I was also around for the Blizzard of ’78,” she laughed. “It will be nice to see the big lake again, though, since we only have desert views in Las Vegas. Coming back to the area for the Browns games, I won’t appreciate the cold weather or the long airplane rides to see Dorian play.”
Her son, Dorian, also has a built-in buddy on the team. His high school teammate at Las Vega powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School, wide receiver and familiar target Cedric Tillman, who played for Tennessee, was drafted in the third round this year by the Browns.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson and his $230 million, five-year contract will certainly be leading the Browns offense this this season, but fans can expect to see DTR get his chances to play throughout the season. DTR’s only Ohio game ever was UCLA vs. Bowling Green last season, when he passed and ran for four touchdowns in an easy 45-17 win.
DTR is the UCLA Bruins career leader with 12,537 passing yards and 88 touchdown passes, which obviously caught the Browns attention.
“Dorian is so invested in football and his career,” said Melva. “He’s not a young man who comes in and says he knows it all. He really likes to learn and be engaged, and he’s intrigued with growing his skills.”
Melva stays engaged, too. Last year she managed to attend every one of his college games.