Notre Dame football: Irish offer California QB Dawkins
Junior-to-be plays at same school that produced Clausen
So when offensive coordi-nator Chuck Martin was im-pressed by junior-to-be Brandon Dawkins at a spring practice on Wednes-day, he didn’t hesitate to of-fer a scholarship to the 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarter-back.
“I didn’t really receive that much mail from Notre Dame so it wasn’t really expected,” Dawkins said. “I guess they were really impressed with the way I was throwing so they started asking around and asked a couple coaches about me.”
Dawkins called Martin af-ter practice and received the good news. Dawkins was told he was the first quarter-back to be offered by the Irish in the 2014 class.
“I was really excited not only because it was Notre Dame but also it’s my first offer,” Dawkins said.
The young quarterback is well aware of the Clausen legacy that he would have the chance to follow. For the last few years Dawkins has worked with quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson, the same coach who tutored Clausen.
Dawkins said he talks to Clausen from time to time, plus it doesn’t hurt that Clausen’s older brother Ca-sey is the offensive coordina-tor at Oaks Christian.
“He comes down to our school a lot,” Dawkins said of Jimmy Clausen. “I talk to him a lot but I haven’t talked to him since I got this offer. I’m pretty sure I’ll be hearing from him soon.”
On Friday, Jimmy Clausen tweeted a congratulations to Dawkins.
“Congrats to @TheRealBDawks on his 1st offer from the IRISH!!!” the tweet read.
Just three games into his sophomore season, Dawkins earned the starting quarter-back position and led his team to a 10-2 record in his starts.
Dawkins took advan-tage of the talent surround-ing him, which included Ari-zona State signee Carlos Mendoza, and UCLA signees Jordan Payton and Ishmael Adams playing offensive skill positions.
Dawkins put himself in the same sentence with Clausen after breaking two of his single-game passing rec-ords last season. Dawkins set a school record for passing yards with 385 against Royal High School and then threw a school-record seven touchdowns against High-land. According to stats col-lected by the Ventura County Star, Dawkins threw for 2,815 yards and 32 touchdowns on the season.
Running the spread of-fense, Dawkins said his vi-sion and arm strength allow him to make a variety of throws and the right deci-sion.
“I think that’s what sets me apart from most of the quarterbacks in my grade or a year above,” Dawkins said. “With my arm strength I can put touch on the ball and I can throw the ball deep downfield if I need to.”
Despite all the success in his sophomore season, Dawkins has been motivated in the offseason by the sea-son-ending, 49-42 loss to Westlake Village in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship. Dawkins threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 103 yards, but also threw five interceptions.
“I think about that game and I wish I could go back,” Dawkins said. “You just have to keep getting better from where you’re at and just keep working hard to get where you need to get.”
With his first offer in hand, Dawkins hopes to make a visit to Notre Dame this summer. Dawkins also reported that teammate Reno Rosene, a sophomore-to-be offensive lineman, was also offered by the Irish staff.
“I’m definitely going to try and make it out there – meet the coaches, meet the play-ers, get a look at the campus and see how it is,” Dawkins said. “I definitely would love to make it up there.”
Staff writer Tyler James: