LOS ANGELES — Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet participated in practice on Monday morning. Thompson-Robinson left UCLA’s game against Alabama State on Saturday early while Charbonnet dressed but was on the sidelines.
Thompson-Robinson left in the second quarter, mid-series as UCLA was on the way to a 45-7 win. He remained dressed for the game, but joined Charbonnet on the sidelines.
Coach Chip Kelly labeled them “unavailable” after the game, but on Monday morning, updated their status to “available.” Both appeared to be full participants in practice on Monday, with Thompson-Robinson moving nimbly through individual quarterback drills.
“I feel great, I feel 100%,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Ready to go this week. It’s a new week, the guys are excited and we’re ready for the challenge.”
Thompson-Robinson’s absence allowed backup Ethan Garbers to go 14-of-18 passing for 164 yards and two touchdowns. The starter said that he didn’t leave the game due to any injury, just that Garbers was given the signal to go into the game.
“The competitor in me is a little frustrated, but understandably so,” Thompson-Robinson said of leaving in the middle of a series. “We have a great backup as well as the rest of the guys in the quarterback room. I couldn’t be more happy with how those guys played and how they executed the offense.”
Keegan Jones was the starting running back and collected 33 yards on 10 carries. TJ Harden, Colson Yankoff, Christian Grubb and Deshun Murrell also saw time at running back.
Kelly estimated on Monday that 88 players got in the game on Saturday.
“There’s an opportunity for guys to get quality game reps,” Kelly said. “They got it on film so we had a really good film session this morning with all those guys, just getting the chance to show them actual game footage of them playing a college football game. We were excited about that.”
Grubb and JonJon Vaughns are two of the busiest athletes on the UCLA roster. Vaughns plays baseball when it’s not football season, and Grubb is on the track and field team.
Grubb scored a touchdown and had 58 yards on seven carries on Saturday against Alabama State. During track season, he runs the 60-meter dash as well as the 100 and 200.
Kelly encourages two-sport participation for his players, especially if it helps them in football or in life.
“I’ve always seen a benefit in it,” Kelly said. “Track is a very easy one. If they go to track practice, they become more explosive and faster and that’s always beneficial to being a football player. But also, our job is to help develop young men.”
UCLA tries to ‘savor’ early-season games despite not being in spotlight
What’s next for UCLA? Unbeaten South Alabama
Status unclear for UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Zach Charbonnet after Alabama State win
UCLA football rolls through depth in win over Alabama State
UCLA football vs. Alabama State: Live updates from Rose Bowl
Yankoff does it all
Yankoff was one of five running backs to play against Alabama State on Saturday. And running back is one of three offensive positions he has played in his college career so far.
He began as a quarterback at Washington, then transferred to UCLA and switched to a receiver role while also playing on special teams. This season, he’s at running back. He ran for 36 yards on six carries.
The coaching staff asked him to take on the position and he’s still learning some of the finer points of running the ball (and getting hit). Monday morning film had a different tone to it, being that he was able to watch himself.
“It’s fun to see myself out there,” but I’m here to help how I can. So whatever that means, if it’s just in practice or on game day, I’m there for them.”