Brandon Dawkins owes a lot to the game of football, both good and bad. It enabled him to get a scholarship to college as well as a degree from Arizona.
But it’s also impacted his mental health, the former Arizona Wildcats quarterback noted on Instagram Wednesday in announcing he would “take a break” from the sport. This comes two days after he left Indiana, where he had transferred as a graduate student during the summer but failed to win the starting QB job.
To Whom This May Concern: Football has been a life changer for me. It has introduced me to friends who have become family. It has given me a platform to be in people’s life, and I have always tried to use that to share a smile. I have always done everything in my power to help others, even if that may just be a simple joke that ignited a smile. Football has also helped me get to college and obtain my degree. Not to mention all of the life skills that it has tough me and memories it has given me that will last the rest of my life. The most important thing to me though has been the joy that the game always brought me. Over the last couple years I lost touch with that joy. I respect and love the game, but I have lost touch with it. I am not too proud to admit that I needed help. I am grateful for the sports psychology team at both Arizona and Indiana for helping me at some of the lowest points in my life. The game has getting me depressed and hurting my well-being. As my mental health is deteriorating I have decided to take a break from the game. I know now that I need to take care of ME. I need to make myself important. I have not properly taken care of myself. Do I know what’s next? Of course not, but I do know God has a plan that is way bigger than any plans I could ever imagine for myself. I hope you can respect my privacy during this time, and my decision. Thank you all. Sincerely, Brandon
Dawkins started 13 games at quarterback for Arizona, including the first five games of 2017. His injury early against Colorado last season paved the way for Khalil Tate, who took over as starter after setting an FBS quarterback record with 327 rushing yards in that victory.