Two Browns rookies have a bond that goes back to high school

UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) at the 89th Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl against Pitt, Friday, Dec.
UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) at the 89th Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl against Pitt, Friday, Dec. / GABY VELASQUEZ/ EL PASO TIMES / USA

It's always easier to start a new job when you know someone and that's going to be the case for Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Cedric Tillman who are both rookies with the Cleveland Browns.

Tillman, who was the Browns first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, was added in Round 3 and Thompson-Robinson joined via the fifth round. Tillman was a standout wide receiver for Tennessee in 2021 but injuries slowed him down significantly in 2022. DTR was a prolific quarterback for UCLA, who showed off a strong arm and impressive running skills.

While they were on opposite sides of the country during their collegiate days, they did play together at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. In their senior campaign, Thompson-Robinson threw 38 touchdowns and Tillman was on the receiving end of seven of those.

Now with rookie minicamp underway, the two are trying to make their mark in the NFL but Thompson-Robinson says they've already been working together.

"It's been super cool ever since we both got the call, we've been throwing every day, trying to break down this playbook and learn it as best we can together, so that's helped."


According to the Browns official website, Tillman might not have even gotten a shot at making it into the NFL if Thompson-Robinson didn't switch positions. Prior to their explosive senior campaign, the current quarterback was ahead of Tillman on the depth chart and caught eight touchdowns compared to just two for Tillman.

Of course, none of us knows what would have really happened even if DTR stayed at wideout but it's an interesting storyline nonetheless.

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Cleveland started their rookie minicamp on Friday and will continue to work with their first-year players throughout the weekend.