COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s offense officially is in the hands of sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
With junior Joe Burrow announcing his transfer plans on Tuesday, the final roadblock has been cleared for Haskins to replace J.T. Barrett as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. Though Tate Martell also is on the roster and figures to have at least some role in 2018, Haskins has the advantage of an extra year in the program, unmatched physical gifts and the experience of directing a comeback win on the road against Michigan last season.
He’s taken every opportunity he’s received at Ohio State and turned it into an advantage.
Burrow and Haskins had been jockeying for the right to replace Barrett since Haskins showed up in 2016, and it may have been an injury that turned the tide. Burrow broke a bone in his non-throwing hand shortly before the 2017 season, freeing up Haskins to take all the backup reps in the early part of the season. From that point there was a clear delineation between the two, and it was Haskins who got the nod when Barrett was injured against Michigan.
Haskins made the most of an unexpected chance. Thrown into the fire of a rivalry game, he completed 6 of 7 passes for 94 yards and led Ohio State to a 31-20, come-from-behind victory over the Wolverines in Michigan Stadium. From that point forward, he became the overwhelming favorite to replace Barrett in the Ohio State offense.
“Just had the opportunity to play in the biggest rivalry in all of sports, and just being able to go in there and not really worry, just play one play at a time,” Haskins said this spring. “Being able to go out and win puts a lot of confidence in you just because your team saw you do it, the world saw you do it and it just gives you a lot of confidence going forward.”
Haskins, who is from Potomac, Md., played in eight games last season, completing 40 of 57 passes for 565 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception.
While he’s far from a finished product, Haskins offers Ohio State the highest ceiling in terms of offensive production. He doesn’t run as much as many of his counterparts, but he showed against Michigan that he could if needed, running three times for 24 yards. His arm, though, is his greatest gift. As he has shown on a number of occasions, there are throws Haskins can make that few others can.
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) April 14, 2018
His ability, his experience and his production have served him well. Now it’s his time to show how far they can carry the Ohio State offense.