Former Arizona QB Dawkins will transfer to IU

Indiana searched the transfer market this off-season for a potential stopgap solution at quarterback.

On Tuesday night, the Hoosiers got their man.

Former Arizona starting quarterback Brandon Dawkins will use his final year of eligibility as a graduate transfer at Indiana this fall. Dawkins confirmed his transfer to Indiana in a tweet sent late Tuesday night. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg first reported Dawkins’ planned move to IU.

“B-Town let’s get to work,” Dawkins tweeted.

Dawkins is a significant addition for an IU offense without a defined starting quarterback. When IU’s fall camp commences in August, Dawkins will join a position competition that includes rising redshirt sophomore Peyton Ramsey and true freshman Michael Penix.

Dawkins also reportedly fielded interest from Florida Atlantic, Illinois, UCLA and Nebraska.

He visited Bloomington in late March.

“I didn’t see a better fit for me,” Dawkins told ESPN. “I could have committed there two weeks ago. There were other schools, but at the end of the day, Indiana definitely showed that they’re interested and they wanted me, they made that clear and apparent. I really respect that about them. They weren’t going to dance around. They genuinely wanted me.”

A dual-threat quarterback, Dawkins started for the Wildcats for most of the 2016 season and the beginning of the 2017 campaign before sophomore Khalil Tate overtook him midway through the fall.

The California native passed for 2,418 yards with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions across 22 games for Arizona. He also rushed for 1,582 yards and 20 scores during his stint in Tucson.

At Indiana, his dynamic skill set is exactly what the Hoosiers are trying to recruit at the quarterback position.

Dawkins may be best when on the run. In 2016, Dawkins finished fourth in the Pac-12 Conference — and was the only league quarterback in the top 10 — with 94.4 rushing yards per game. He averaged 7.21 yards per carry (131 attempts) that season, ranking third in the conference.

Dawkins will graduate in May and be available to Indiana this summer.


  1. Wow…Interesting development. I thought qb was the one place we were pretty deep and set. Is this guy really good?

  2. Great!! Now Indiana has some depth at the quarterback position. Not many passes in this video, looks like a run first quarterback, but that is very typical of a Rich Rodriguez (Denard Robinson at Michigan) quarterback and offensive. Maybe that is the type of offensive Mike Debord and Indiana is building up to. Anyway welcome abroad Mr. Dawkins and wishing you the best of success and luck with your career while at Indiana University now and into the future.

  3. This will add some game experience and an insurance policy for any serious injuries , like last season losing Ramsey .

  4. This is a very good pick up for IU as before the only options if Ramsey went down again were QBs with no game experience. Dawkins also increase the competition in the QB room along with giving it more experience with game experience. It puts IU in better shape to deal with any injuries at QB no matter who the starter is. I feel much better about the up coming season with more game experience in the QB room just as Linder made me feel more confidant in the OL for this season. One thing coach Brohm did at PU last year was bring in several grad players to fill in the positions that were short of talent due to the previous coach.

  5. Can grad transfers stay at their respective schools and continue to play? Or has their eligibility expired at their respective schools? Examples; Dakich to OSU from Mich (bb) and others in bb, Wilson to Wisky from N. Carolina State (fb), Dawkins from Arizona to IU and others in (fb). Clarification would be appreciated.

    1. Yes, you can stay provided you are wanted. I’m guessing they would have liked him to stay on as a backup but he wants to be on the field. He is pretty much exactly the guy this rule was written for…as was Russell Wilson. I don’t know if Dakich was ever a scholarship player anywhere.

      Welcome to Bloomington. The inside run game just got better.

  6. Dual threat?
    Watching 2 videos and reviewing 22 games of stats I have mixed signals on Dawkins. Except for a bit more experience he is Ramsey with slightly better wheels and less arm. Yes he is a fit mostly because it doesn’t hurt to add depth and there is scholarships free. He realistically adds nothing more than what is already in the QB competition. Also very suspect DeBord can scheme better performance from him than Rich Rod.

    1. He has a better arm than Ramsey. Lucky me with the folks living in Tucson and getting to watch a lot of UA football. He’s a big upgrade from Ramsey. Not calling him Russell Wilson by any means, but I think the Hoosiers got a nice QB.

      Penix sounds promising, but how can I tell from the other side of the country. He may be a year away. I feel much better going into next season with Dawkins than Ramsey.

  7. Indiana now has 4- dual threat (run first) quarterbacks, cannot wait to see what the Indiana offensive looks like. with this addition, Indiana has a great opportunity to red-shirt Mike Phenix or move Nick Tronti (Florida Mr Football) to DB. With this group of quarterbacks, at present if Indiana falls behind in (the game) score you have no opportunity to pass the ball to catch up. Going to be a very interesting year in Indiana football season.

  8. 4 star at 80 (low 4 star) per espn 2013 high school. For less than one year (8 or 9 months from today another fb season) gives much needed legitimate depth to qb position who is an actual athletic ability qb that can play position and have more of legitimate chance to be a positive for offense than maybe what was there before. Will any qb for IU be dependable, a difference maker or at least do a little more than hold there own that may provide a little excitement?

  9. Sorry but the games he excelled in were against pretty low level competition. His arm is why he lost the job to Tate.

    1. HC read my post carefully. 🙂 I didn’t compare him to Tate, I compared him to Ramsey. Tate is amazing. Tate would take most jobs away from most QBs playing last year.

      I’m not saying Dawkins has an arm like Sudfeld, but it’s a good one. It was considered a strength when he was recruited out of high school. Also, Dickrod’s offenses were never strong for passers. Hard to shine throwing the ball there.

      Just some perspective. We’ll see next year, but I think we got a guy that can fix our biggest problem from last year. Also Dawkins brings some real leadership. He’s smart and a team player. At the very least, he’s going to make all the QBs up their game if they want to play this year. They’ll all be better for this.

      This is a great pickup.

      1. DD I wouldn’t respond to a post I haven’t thoroughly read. If he was more passer than hoofer RR would not have wanted him. His completion % over parts of 3 seasons does not touch PR’s nor his passing IQ. I’ve seen nothing in DeBord’s passing offense to raise it any higher than RR offense did. But he does scoot a little more ably than Ramsey and I will say in the red zone he appears to have a nose for the goal line. They are so close to being = I’d hate to live on the difference. A flip of a coin may be needed to determine who’s better.

        1. You still didn’t characterize my post correctly. So I’ll move on.

          Impossible to have a conversation with hardly anyone on this board.

          I’m out. Only like 4 commenters here anyway. Good luck this summer everyone and hopefully we’re cheering on RL in the fall.

          1. Characterized incorrectly? I mentioned Tate once. Then you mentioned Sudfeld once. ???
            I think he is a below average P5 passer. While Ramsey is an average P5 passer. You think differently; otherwise there is no horse race.

      2. I believe it’s pretty obvious and fair to say that all have their “regional” biases.
        That being said, it still looks like this kid is an upgrade. He appears to pass very well on the move and he has really surprising acceleration when he decides to pick his opening and bust out of the pocket for a run.

        Now I’m going to go very retro on you boys…(proving again that the only pro team in football I’ve ever paid any attention to over the last 45 years is …DA BEARS!)….and throw out this name: VINCE EVANS (16:20 mark).
        Dandy Don : “He does have good quickness. I was unaware he had that kind of speed.”

        That’s my assessment of Dawkins…I was unaware he had that kind of speed. This is an upgrade from any wheels I’ve seen on an IU qb. Don’t know about his arm but it certainly didn’t look weak. But these are YouTube clips…and it can’t compare to watching a guy live/in person.

  10. I think this is an excellent pick-up for IU. I’ve watched Dawkins play football at Arizona for two years. He would still be Arizona’s starting QB had it not been for the unusually gifted Khalil Tate. In my opinion, the day he arrives on IU’s campus, the starting QB job will be his to lose, and my guess is that Allen and DeBord told him that during the recruiting process. In addition to having a lot more experience, Dawkins has a very strong arm (I agree with DD, it’s stronger than Ramsey’s arm), but he was not the most accurate QB over the last two seasons. Part of that was due to young/inexperienced receivers and Arizona’s relatively weak O-line that could not sustain the pocket. I’m not sure Dawkins should be considered a “run first” quarterback, but he is an excellent runner. Because of that O-line, Dawkins and Tate were required to buy time with their legs and run if the opportunity was there. AZ’s defense was so bad over the last two seasons that the offense had to score on almost every possession in order for AZ to have a chance to win. Dawkins will find IU’s defense far superior to anything he had at Arizona over the last two seasons, which I think will allow him to display a broader range of his skills. And I believe having Dawkins at QB will create a lot more opportunity for IU’s running backs, simply because an offense with Dawkins will be much harder to defend. My guess is that Ramsey and Penix will be competing for the back-up position, and that to the extent possible, Dawkins will help mentor both of those guys.

    I just became more optimistic about our 2018 football season.

  11. That may be true, HC, but from what I witnessed watching every AZ game last season, Tate was quicker and has unbelievable speed for a QB. Tate is just an unusually gifted dual-threat QB who will be included in the discussions about 2018 Heisman candidates starting this fall. Hard to say how much Ramsey and Penix will have progressed before the beginning of the season, but as of the end of last season, Dawkins would have clearly been the best QB on IU’s roster. I doubt Allen brought him to IU to ride the pine or hold the clipboard.

  12. It cost absolutely zero to bring him to IU for a year. The scholarship was unattached. Adding competition and depth do make it a net positive.

  13. For the record, Dawkins was Arizona’s starting quarterback in 2016 and through the first five games of the 2017 season. Dawkins didn’t lose his job to Tate until he took a late hit out-of-bounds and was injured against Colorado. In those first four games of 2017, Dawkins was Arizona’s leading rusher in three of them, averaging 6.8 yards per carry and 8 touchdowns, with the longest TD run going for 66 yards. He completed 62% of his passes and threw five TD passes against four INTs. He was sacked six times during those first four games.

    1. Do you know anything about BD I don’t know? I watch lots of P5 CFB. Which includes UA.
      The man is a runner not a passer. The kind RR loves.

  14. Sounds like we’re getting a hell of a quarterback…and he’s from a place very far from Indiana. Very unusual on both fronts.
    I don’t know any other way than to view this as an amazing get by Allen. Congrats to Allen and the staff. This could end up being a real game-changing and momentum generating moment for IU Football.

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