Transcript: Allen discusses Brandon Dawkins on B1G teleconference

Here’s a transcript of Indiana coach Tom Allen breaking down the program’s decision to add former Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins as a graduate transfer:

On what made Brandon Dawkins the right fit in a one-year graduate transfer scenario:

Tom Allen: “First of all, as we searched for a fit for us, it begins with the kind of young man that he is and his character. (We were) just trying to get to know him and the people that have been around him. It’s obviously different when it’s a graduate transfer. He’s a more mature young man, and even the whole experience in recruiting him is different with the things you focus on. We just wanted to make sure we were gonna bring in a guy that fit with us as a culture and we felt that’s the case.

“Also, (he’s) a young man that has played in and won Power 5 football games. A lot of guys in the graduate transfer world have not played much at all and definitely haven’t started. (They) may be some talented guys that haven’t had the opportunity to break in or have those chances to play or start.

“So he’s a guy that’s been a starter, a guy that’s had success and, obviously, a man that brings some leadership maturity to our quarterback room, as well as to our offense and ultimately to our entire team. So those are the kinds of things (that jump out) to me. Then, obviously, a skill set that matched what we want to do with our offense and the things he brings to the table athletically and with his size.”

On whether Dawkins’ dual-threat skill set is indicative of what Allen wants out of that position:

Tom Allen: “I’ve been pretty upfront about that. As you continue to build your roster and recruit guys and bring guys into your program, the longer you’re at a place, you get more specific towards that as you have a chance to affect that with young guys. I think at that position, I just know as a defensive-minded coach that that kind of quarterback is difficult to defend (with) his ability to run the football. But you gotta throw it and you gotta throw it well and that’s the piece that will not change.

“It doesn’t mean that the guy’s running the ball more than he’s throwing it, but the ability to extend plays, the ability to create things with your legs, to create something from nothing are things that we’re trying to get to. I believe a big part of that is the escapability, the athleticism of that quarterback. That’s the profile of a guy we’re targeting and going after.

“Michael Penix fits that bill and he’s had a very strong spring and (we’re) very excited about him. We just have a very young room. To be able to bring in an individual that’s been a starter, that has (Dawkins’) maturity and his experience was very, very important to us. We sat the other guys down and talked them through it before we even brought him on a visit. They understood. We feel like it’s just a situation where we have a chance to now create the competition in that room to allow us to be able to have all guys that have similar skill sets that can run it and throw it.”

On getting a quarterback with Power 5 experience:

Tom Allen: “It was very important. We’ve been discussing it for awhile. Really weren’t sure how it was going to play out. We wanted to get to spring and find out where things stood with our situation, but it’s kind of been in the back of our minds, for sure. Then, it just kept growing and growing as we continued to research it further and further, and then talking to different guys and trying to find a great fit. You don’t want to add somebody just to add somebody, but a guy that really fits what you are looking for.

“The experience piece is big, which is what you get with a graduate transfer and especially with Brandon, who has been a starter in a Power 5 conference and won games and made plays and been in that pressure of being the starter and what that feels like. Coming in and playing in different moments of a game is different from being the guy they’re scheming for and that you’re planning for. You have to deal with all the media and all the different expectations of playing quarterback at this level. Those were things that stuck out to us with him.

“Even though Peyton (Ramsey) did a great job last year, he’s still young and has had a really good spring. He’s gonna be competing just like they all are to be the guy. Just wanted to make sure we added the right person, as well as from a character perspective. Those are the things that went into this decision and we’re excited about Brandon, for sure.”


  1. “We wanted to get to spring and find out where things stood with our situation, but it’s kind of been in the back of our minds, for sure. Then, it just kept growing and growing as we continued to research it further and further, and then talking to different guys and trying to find a great fit. You don’t want to add somebody just to add somebody, but a guy that really fits what you are looking for.”

    I translate Allen’s comments to mean this: “we compared the performance of our quarterbacks this spring to Dawkins’ performance over the last two seasons and concluded that Dawkins represents an obvious and significant upgrade based on his experience and athleticism, so we recruited him hard and are delighted that he’s transferring to IU.”

    I’ll be shocked if Dawkins isn’t the starter for IU’s 2018 season. And I believe Penix will ascend to the back-up by mid-season.

  2. PO what coach Allen was talking about was finding a transfer QB that fit the offense and the lockerroom. At this point we don’t know how the QBs stack up but do know they will compete for the starting job. This addition is important because if Ramsey was knocked out of the game again we had to turn to a QB with no college game experience. If Dawkins can beat out our QBs then the team is improved in talent. If he doesn’t beat them out he still gives us more experience in the QB room to draw on.

  3. v13, technically speaking, you are correct. We don’t know anything for certain right now. And I’m not suggesting Allen or DeBord made Dawkins any guarantees. But I doubt Dawkins would have selected IU unless he was virtually certain that he would be IU’s starter. He did not come to IU to be the back-up to a younger, less experienced quarterback. If he wanted to do that, he’d have stayed at AZ! And I doubt Allen would have recruited Dawkins so hard unless he was certain he needed a more experienced, more athletic quarterback. You don’t have to work real hard reading between the lines to understand what Allen is saying and what he’s not saying. We need a more experienced, dual-threat quarterback. No matter how gifted Penix may be, he’s a true freshman. Ramsey has some experience and proved himself to be competent, but he’s not a real dual threat quarterback and does not have a strong arm. Why would Allen waste a scholarship and roster spot to bring in a one-year guy unless he intended to make him the starter? Allen said, “To be able to bring in an individual that’s been a starter, that has (Dawkins’) maturity and his experience was very, very important to us.” VERY, VERY IMPORTANT! Barring injury, Dawkins will be IU’s starting quarterback come September.

  4. I would say the big advantage is the fact that pretty much all the QBs on the roster have a same style and type of game. This makes practices much more focused and simpler. Allen has stated that last year with Ramsey and Lagow having such different styles they would have to change offensive practice to fit both of them not knowing who would get the majority of snaps that week. Obviously that changed after Ramsey got hurt, but it made the offensive practice week feel out of sync. I think this will help from an experience factor, but now with all the QBs being of similar style it almost makes them interchangeable if someone does go down on Saturday and don’t have to change the play calling or game plan.

  5. I’m sure the staff is doing what they feel is best. That said, this guy was hung out to dry because of younger talent. Where’s Tronti? How’s his development coming? He isn’t ever mentioned. The reality is that IU still is unable to successfully recruit guys like Purdue picked up in Arizona native Plummer. Obviously Allen feels that Ramsey won’t be durable enough, that Tronti isn’t getting “It” and he is now in CYA mode. Can you say 4 and 9. Too bad.

    1. He was ‘hung out to dry’ because, when he was injured, a future Heisman trophy candidate was sitting on the bench to replace him. He was hung out to dry for the same reason Steve Deberg was hung out to dry when John Elway came off the bench.

      Ninety percent of the starting quarterbacks in college football would have been ‘hung out to dry’ if Khalil Tate was their backup.

    2. Hell the D, OL and rushing attack alone will get IU to 5 wins. It is the addition of a tactical passing attack that can earn a warm weather bowl matchup.

    3. Tronti (Florida – Mr Football – not recruited by any school in Florida) , is not A BIG 10 starting quarterback. Basically recruited by Indiana to say they recruited a quarterback in the class. Will basically see game action against some of our weak non-conference schedule (provide we are ahead in a game) in the future.

  6. Sorry Brad, but Dawkins is a major pick-up for IU and if he stays healthy, he’ll be a difference-maker this season. And to a certain extent, his success won’t depend on the quality of IU’s O-line, because he never had a good one while he played for AZ. Allen was very smart to go after Dawkins, and signing him is a big feather in Allen’s hat. As for recruiting QBs, Penix is evidence that the quality and depth of IU’s quarterback recruits is getting better. So right now, we have two former 4-star quarterbacks on the roster. When was the last time IU ever had two 4-star quarterbacks on the same roster? I expect to see IU continue to sign a quality quarterback in every recruiting class going forward.

  7. A really good article from the Scoop (earning its (former) name!) Good posts here, too. Double Down if you’re still lurking out there come back; I (at least) enjoy the company of just about all the posters here (even if some of the ad hominem stuff is puerile). I agree that this Dawkins seems 1) to be a pretty good QB and 2) almost certainly the starter. But here we go with the whole “stars” thing again. I guess this astrology has its place for HS recruiting, but Dawkins is long gone from HS.

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