Friday, July 26, 2013
QB Dawkins breaks down Arizona pledge
By Erik McKinney
Arizona recruiting kept rolling on Thursday night, with a pledge from four-star quarterback Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian).
Dawkins actually jumped the gun a bit, as he was planning to commit at the Wildcats' red-carpet event this weekend, designed to showcase the new football facilities to a number of recruits. But Dawkins had to cancel at the last minute, so he sped up his timeline.
"I talked to Coach [Rich] Rodriguez last night, and he was on his way to California for Pac-12 media day," Dawkins said. "I told them I'm ready to be a part of the program. He said he was jumping around the airport.
"They said I've been their No. 1 guy on their chart and they are really excited about me. I said I'm ready to be a part of it, ready to be a Wildcat. I'm fired up about it."
Dawkins was offered earlier in the process by Notre Dame and Utah but said he feels Arizona is the best fit for him.
"The offense is so similar to what I run and do right now," he said. "The schemes they run are some of the exact same plays we run. Coach Rodriguez is a spread-offense genius, so it will be great to be under his wing there. But I couldn't say just one thing about it convinced me. It's a collection of things. Everybody down there is really genuine."
Arizona signed three quarterbacks in the 2013 class, but Dawkins isn't concerned about competing for his spot.
"They promised that I'd be evaluated equally," he said. "I'm not just going to the back of the line as a freshman and not get to showcase my ability. I'm going to give them the best that I've got. The depth chart doesn't matter much to me because there are always going to be guys competing for the job. Even if I won the spot, they'd be going out and recruiting the next big five-star quarterback. You're always in danger of losing the spot if you're not competing at the highest level. They're looking for whoever does the most and makes the most plays."
Dawkins said he feels as though this commitment will end his recruitment and that he will only take one official visit this fall. He's hopeful that his recruitment doesn't extend into February, as he'd like to enroll early at Arizona.
"Our school has a year-long senior bible class and that's the one thing that holds me back," he said of being an early enrollee. "I'm trying to get it done in one semester, but I don't know if it can be done. I know either Jimmy Clausen or Nick Montana was able to convince them to let him take night school in order to get it done earlier. I'm going to see if I can get that same privilege. But if not, I'll definitely just enjoy the last few months of my senior year."
Arizona also continues to make a big impact in California. Last year, the Wildcats signed 14 players from the Golden State. In the 2014 class, eight out of the 14 early verbal commitments are from California.
"That's also a big thing, because I see it as a program on the rise," Dawkins said of Arizona's impact in California. "You see they have a lot of good recruits and now I'm definitely going to get my recruiting on. I'm going to keep doing what I can do."
Dawkins said ESPN 300 tight end Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) will likely be his No. 1 target, as the two were best friends growing up.
This is likely just the start for Arizona's positive recruiting momentum this weekend, as the much-anticipated event on Saturday will likely have recruits buzzing and could result in additional commitments.