Not many young players make a splash on the recruiting scene with their first offer coming from Notre Dame. But that's what happened to 2014 quarterback Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) two weeks ago.
Now Dawkins is making a splash in the Pac-12, as Utah stepped forward with an offer for the 6-foot-3, 195-pound dual-threat quarterback. The momentum might only be starting, as Dawkins said he feels Alabama and UCLA could be close to extending offers as well.
"It's really exciting, especially being a sophomore," Dawkins said of the high-profile nature of his early offers and interest. "All these big schools seeing what I can do, it makes me want to work harder."
Dawkins stepped into the spotlight at Oaks Christian High School and led the Lions to an 11-3 record while passing for 2,844 yards and 33 touchdowns as a sophomore. Stepping up under center for a school that was home to Jimmy Clausen, Nick Montana and Trevor Gretzky is nothing out of the ordinary for Dawkins, which should allow him to deal with any pressure that could come from a high-profile position at the next level.
"Some big-time players have come out of here, like Marc Tyler and Jimmy Clausen," Dawkins said. "It feels good to go what they went through and it's exciting to be able to step into their shoes."
The interest from Alabama might catch some off guard, but Dawkins said that has been about a year in the making. His father was born there and is a Crimson Tide fan. Dawkins said he has no "dream school," nor is he leaning toward any particular program, but he made the trip to Tuscaloosa for camp after his freshman year.
"They taped every one of my reps," Dawkins said of the Alabama coaches. "They sent me six or seven pieces of mail a week this year and no other school sent that much. I definitely think they're interested."
This past weekend, Dawkins attended USC's skills camp, but left early due to arm fatigue. The day before, Dawkins participated in a day-long passing tournament at Dana Hills High School. But he'll be back at it this weekend, as he'll travel to Las Vegas for the Elite 11.