Ohio State Buckeyes sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins had the talent, skill and leadership qualities to maintain the winning culture of the Ohio State Buckeyes. After playing eight games with no starts during his freshmen year, Haskins came into the 2018 season as a starter.
With Haskins as the main signal caller, the Buckeyes had a prosperous season with a 13-1 overall record. He ascended through the ranks of college football by becoming one of the top ten college quarterbacks in the country. His quarterback rating at 86.3 placed him at fourth.
During the season, Haskins made 50 touchdown passes and four touchdown rushes; he accumulated 4843 passing yards and 108 rushing yards. His new head coach Ryan Day noted how Haskins had “a tremendous season.”
“The thing I’m most proud of is his leadership, just the way that he’s handled himself, the way he walks and talks, that’s come a long way,” Day said. “He’s taken more ownership with the offense. He’s put the work in to understand the defensive structures week in, week out.”
Ushering in a winning season did not deter Haskins from his classwork. Haskins has earned OSU Scholar Athlete honors for two consecutive years. The award is for student athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. In 2017, he earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
“My parents always voiced to me about how important grades and school are,” Haskins said. “[I] made sure I did well in school, because football won’t last as long as your education will.”
A highlight in his academic career at Ohio State was taking a class on the Black Power Movement. His major is strategic communications.
“I like journalism, I was a sports editor at my high school paper and I want to do TV broadcasting,” Haskins said.
On his first career start, Haskins broke campus records with five touchdowns and 313 passing yards. The next game, he launched four touchdown passes in the first half. Haskins noted how he had control of the offensive line.
“I have that complete control of it, [to] be able to change protections, change plays or being able to see things at light speed and knowing things before it even comes,” he said.
Haskins continued to perform at a high level and opponents continued to flounder, the Buckeyes reached the Big 10 Championship and defeated the Northwestern Wildcats 45-24. Despite throwing an interception, Haskins raked up 499 passing yards and five touchdowns.
Their winning momentum continued into the 2019 Rose Bowl, where Haskins made three touchdowns and 251 passing yards to beat the Washington Huskies 28-23.
“Buckeye Nation loves me, and I love Buckeye Nation since I was eight, nine, ten years old,” Haskins said in the press conference after the Rose Bowl. “To know how much they value me as a player and to know how much work I put into this to be in this spot, just to go to school here, [I am] just really blessed.”