On Thursday, reports surfaced that USC and UCLA are in negotiations to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten in 2024, sources told Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger. News of the potential move was originally reported by Jon Wilner of The Mercury News.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson found out about the USC and UCLA realignment news just as everyone else did: on Twitter. He spoke with Sports Illustrated’s John Garcia Jr. about his thoughts on the news.
Even though Thompson-Robinson is entering his fifth season and won’t be on the team when the program changes conferences, he thinks the news is exciting for the school and the football program specifically.
“I think it’s really cool, it’s a really good opportunity for the young guys that are coming up in the program,” Thompson-Robinson said.
“Obviously I’ll be an alum by the time that all happens. I’ll be able to come back and check out a couple games and see what the boys got. I think it’s a great opportunity for both schools.”
In terms for recruitment, the fifth-year quarterback thinks this change gives UCLA “an edge” right now over other programs. Additionally, the Bruins may start appealing to prospects in the midwest or other regions now that UCLA will play more games across the country.
“It definitely gives our program definitely more of a spark, getting to know that you’re getting to up your competition level,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Not to say anything bad about the Pac-12, but we all know the tough competition that thrives off in the Big Ten. Just being able to get around a different environment, different area, because those environments down there are pretty crazy. I think it does help give UCLA a little bit of an edge now recruiting.”
An official deal hasn’t been made yet, but it is expected to become public within days or even hours.
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