Freshman quarterback Brandon Dawkins is not currently with the Arizona Wildcats because of a violation of a team rule, coach Rich Rodriguez told the Star tonight after practice.
Rodriguez said he expects Dawkins, a native of Oxnard, Calif., to rejoin the team sometime in the near future.
The coach also said nose guard Dwight Melvin will not play this season because he’s academically ineligible. Rodriguez said the Wildcats filed an appeal to the NCAA about Melvin’s eligibility, but doesn’t expect him to be cleared.
The UA is still waiting for the final ruling.
Melvin played in seven games last season and had one tackle-for-loss. The sophomore from Phoenix was expected to compete with Jeff Worthy for the starting job in training camp.
He suffered a concussion the first night of practice and was cleared to return a couple of weeks later. The UA was hopeful they would have him for this season, but that doesn’t look to be the case.
Melvin was practicing with the scout team at practice tonight.
The nose guard from Laveen Fairfax High School had a strong spring and drew the eye of the UA’s coaches.
“Dwight Melvin is a guy who is developing,” defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel said during spring drills. “He just has to continue to get coached and work. He’s gotten stronger. He’s gotten heavier. So he’s getting it.”
While Melvin was going to be counted on this season, Dawkins wasn’t.
The three-star quarterback out of Oaks Christian High School is expected to redshirt this season. Dawkins chose Arizona over offers from Notre Dame, North Carolina State and Utah.
He impressed Rodriguez early in camp with his ability.
“I like Brandon,” Rodriguez said earlier this month. “The two freshmen (Dawkins and Zach Werlinger) we have are really smart, really conscientious; they’re both going to be really good football players. I like what I’ve seen so far. Those two have shown a good bit to me so far.”
Rodriguez didn’t give a timeframe on Dawkins’ return to the team.