Dawkins, who started most of the 2016 season and the start of the 2017 season for the Wildcats, picked Indiana after visiting campus two weeks ago. He also took a visit to Florida Atlantic, and several other FBS programs expressed interest. Dawkins is set to graduate from Arizona next month and will be eligible immediately with one year to play.
"I didn't see a better fit for me," Dawkins said. "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."
Dawkins appeared in 22 games for Arizona, passing for 2,418 yards with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, while adding 1,582 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. He opened last season as the top quarterback before being overtaken by Khalil Tate, who has two years of eligibility left. Dawkins looks forward to competing for Indiana's starting job and learning from offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan, who played for Rich Rodriguez, Dawkins' coach at Arizona, while both were at Michigan.
"I don't think you can coach quarterback if you haven't played it at a high level," Dawkins said. "And Coach DeBord, some of the quarterbacks he's had -- he had Tom Brady, Brian Griese, just to name a few. Everything's there from a mental standpoint. I know I'm not going to be able to walk in and start, but I'm fired up to get in a new competition with a new group of guys.
"I'm fired up to learn a new offense and go win some games."
A native of Oxnard, California, Dawkins said he has never been east of Arizona and looks forward to a fresh start in a new league and in a new part of the country. He expects to bring a dynamic run element to Indiana's offense. Sophomore quarterback Peyton Ramsey, who started four games last season, competed this spring alongside incoming freshman Michael Penix Jr. and redshirt freshman Nick Tronti.
"A big thing for them is fitting the system to their quarterback," Dawkins said. "That's huge. If the fit isn't right, you can't just force it. Obviously, I'm going to be learning a whole new system, but they're not going to make me do things I'm not comfortable doing. They know my skills and talents and assets. They're going to push me, and I'm ready to give it my all."