Dwayne Haskins was more than a football player. He was a beloved son, brother, husband, and friend. The former Ohio State Buckeye great passed away at the age of 24 on Saturday, April 9thin Boca Raton, Florida. He will be sorely missed by the entire NFL family, fanbase, and sports community as a whole.
As a young child, Dwayne’s dream was to play quarterback for Ohio State. He achieved that dream in 2016 when he committed to the Buckeyes as a 4-star recruit out of Maryland. After spending his first 2 seasons as a backup, Haskins took the college football world by storm when he earned the opportunity to start in 2018. During his historical Junior campaign, he threw for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns, with only 8 interceptions. He finished the 2018 season as a Heisman finalist, winning the Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl to cap off his legendary season. Haskins went on to skip his senior year, entering the NFL draft. He was selected by the Washington Commanders in the First Round.
After 2 seasons with Washington, Haskins found himself in Pittsburgh as a member of the Steelers. Dwayne made an immediate impact on the team, its fanbase, and the city of Pittsburgh as a whole. During training camp, he went out of his way to always be his teammates’ biggest cheerleader and supporter. When someone made a huge play, the first guy running up to celebrate with them was Haskins. He also made a habit of showing support for players who were struggling and making poor plays. A natural leader with heart and integrity, Haskins was truly one of a kind.
Dwayne’s character and heart touched many of his teammates. Steelers WR Chase Claypool, who was with Haskins just hours before his passing, shared this touching sentiment on social media: “I spent your final moments with you and I can’t help but think about how selfless you were in those moments. All you cared about was making sure that everyone around you was okay and I can’t thank you enough for that. You are what I strive to be.”
Haskins was a man who always put others first, and that is how he’ll be remembered. A selfless, loving, bright individual who was the rare example of an athlete who was thought of as a person first, and a football player second.
Rest in peace Dwayne, we miss you already.
Photo Credit: The New York Times