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'Dwayne Haskins Was Elite In Every Way:' Ohio State Remembers Haskins The Man And Football Player

By: Patrick Damp/KDKA-TV

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Steelers and football community suffered a tremendous loss on Saturday morning.

Around 6:30 a.m., Steelers quarterback and Ohio State Buckeye legend Dwayne Haskins was killed when he attempted to cross a Florida highway and was hit by a dump truck.

He died instantly.

Haskins is remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Ohio State history. In 2018, Haskins throw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns and led the team to a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl victory.

"You could make the case that Dwayne Haskins is the Godfather of the new era of Big Ten Football, certainly at Ohio State," said WBNS Sports Columbus's Dave Holmes, who covered Haskins' college career. "He didn't set records – he crushed them. He beat the old Big Ten single-season passing mark by 1,000 yards and he beat Drew Brees' touchdown record by 11 touchdowns."

Given the shockwaves that reverberated through Steeler Nation when the news of Haskins' death broke, it was the same for our neighbors in Ohio.

"Here's the thing about Columbus, Ohio, and this whole region – once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye," Holmes said. "It is incredible, this town is full of former players, who are now media members, real estate agents, insurance salesmen, people tend to come back to Columbus. This town loves Dwayne Haskins. This town celebrates average football players, Dwayne Haskins was elite in every way. People loved him."

Haskins rose to prominence in Columbus when during a spring game, he went head-to-head with Joe Burrow, winning the starting job for the Buckeyes.

That decision was part of the reason Burrow transferred to Louisiana State University.

Then came his debut.

"This is the guy who debuted, on the road, in Ann Arbor, in the second half of a game, when JT Barrett was injured and led the Buckeyes to a victory in the Big House," Holmes recalled.

Much like so many of his Steelers teammates recalled today, people in Columbus fell in love with Haskins the person more so than Haskins the quarterback.

"He's a talented guy, but more so than the talent, is the smile, that's what everyone talked about in Columbus," Holmes said. "You didn't have to tell Dwayne Haskins to smile for pictures, he always had a smile on his face. He was infectious to be around people, he was always in a good mood."

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