Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class – the country’s fourth-ranked class – featured 25 signees from 11 states. Many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes’ on-field success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our “Young Bucks” series. Next up: Quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Who is he?
Things were looking pretty good between Ohio State and Dwayne Haskins in the summer of 2014, to the point that director of player personnel Mark Pantoni hinted at the desire for a commitment by referencing Haskins’ hashtag of choice in a July 2014 post to Twitter.
Great time for a leader of the #DreamTeam16 to join the family ??
— Mark Pantoni (@markpantoni) July 26, 2014
The commitment didn’t come then and it didn’t come later, and Ohio State ultimately settled on Tristen Wallace, a quarterback from DeSoto, Texas, who had pledged to the Buckeyes in April 2015. Roughly seven months later – with National Signing Day rapidly approaching – Wallace decided he was better suited for wide receiver at the college level. A few hundred miles away, Maryland was in the process of searching for a new head coach after having fired Randy Edsall.
“That was a very strenuous moment when the previous commitment decided not to play the position,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “And I was actually in a hotel room in New Jersey when I got the phone call. I mean, my mouth went dry, I said, what? Because every other quarterback was committed, basically. And we started searching the ones that were not committed. And to be quite honest, it wasn’t a very – what word am I looking for? – very attractive pool of players that (met) our expectation at quarterback.
“And I made the call to Dwayne. And we had a great relationship prior to. He’s been here several times. I know he was a big Ohio State fan growing up. And the relationship instantly was right exactly where it was when we went our separate ways. He is an impact recruit.”
- Height: 6 feet 3
- Weight: 220
- Number: 7
- Hometown: Potomac, Md.
- High School: Bullis School
- Composite Ranking: 7 (Quarterback)
- High School Highlights
Haskins flipped to Ohio State on Jan. 18, the same day the Buckeyes hauled in wide receiver Binjimen Victor and linebacker Keandre Jones. Meyer was so pleased that the night before Signing Day he had his assistant coaches watch highlights of Haskins to get them excited about the future of the program.
“Just to make dinner taste better last night I made the coaches watch Keandre, Jordan Fuller and Haskins before we left last night,” he said. “When you go home, it kind of makes you feel good that you’ve got three guys like that coming in. They’re all wonderful people, too.”
What does he bring to Ohio State?
Haskins could very well be Ohio State’s quarterback of the future. Although he’s a pro-style quarterback, he’s mobile enough to force teams to account for his running ability.
He’s durable enough to take a hit, and his power is one of his defining characteristics.
“He’s a very good athlete,” Meyer said. “He wasn’t asked to run a lot but, when he did, he was a very good athlete. I remember when we ran him around here [that] he was a very good athlete. As good a release and arm strength that I’ve seen at that age since I’ve been recruiting. If you go watch his highlight tape, just watch the ball come out of his hand, his arm strength. The fundamentals that Dwayne Haskins possesses right now is as good as I’ve ever seen in a young quarterback.”
Will he play as a freshman?
Probably not. Even though Ohio State’s depth is thinner than normal, thanks to the departure of Cardale Jones, Stephen Collier’s ACL tear and Torrance Gibson’s permanent switch to wide receiver, the Buckeyes should be able to get by with using J.T. Barrett and Joe Burrow – especially since no true freshman has seen the field at quarterback during Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State.
There is a chance that Haskins sees the field, however – more so than the previous quarterbacks. Meyer even alluded to such in his Signing Day presser, saying, “He will compete for playing time as a true freshman.”