On Saturday, April 9, 2022, the NFL world was struck by tragedy as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, was struck and killed on a highway in Florida. Haskins, a 24-year-old from New Jersey, was a beloved husband, teammate, and son.
Dwayne Haskins is an Ohio State Legend
Growing up, Dwayne Haskins knew he was destined to be a Buckeye. From his first visit to Ohio State at age 11, he knew. “I’m going to go to college here”, Haskins said in a video at Ohio State in 2008. And he did. He started his career at Ohio State as a redshirt freshman, but what came next was a shock to everyone.
Haskins’ first appearance in a game came during his second season when he replaced injured starting quarterback J.T. Barrett. The remainder of that game is a story that will be told forever as Haskins led his team to 17 unanswered points, and an epic come from behind victory versus Michigan. He would finish his freshman season with 565 yards and four touchdowns.
His sophomore season solidified his legacy at Ohio State. He set an unprecedented 28 school records that season including most total offensive yards in a season (4,939 yards), touchdowns in a season (50), and total passing yards in a game (470).
In 2017, he showed he could beat Michigan despite all odds and in 2018 he did it again. This time, on the backs of a game with 396 passing yards and a monstrous six touchdowns passes. His sophomore season was capped off with many awards including Rose Bowl MVP, Graham George Offensive Player of the Year, and many others. He was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. By many accounts, Haskins is considered the best passing quarterback in Ohio State history. For many, when they think of Ohio State football in recent years, they think of Dwayne.
Haskins rode off into the sunset as he declared for the NFL Draft following the 2018 season. His life and legacy will be honored at Ohio State’s spring game on April 16, 2022.
Life in the NFL
Following his unbelievable college season, Haskins was drafted 15th overall in the 2019 NFL draft by his hometown team, the Washington Redskins, now the Washington Commanders.
His time in Washington was short-lived as he parted ways with the team in 2020 before signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021.
He left his mark in Pittsburgh
Haskins spent the 2021 season as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-string QB. His time with the Steelers cannot be seen on highlight reels, but by the impact, he made in the community. Shortly after he signed with his new team, he immersed himself in the city.
At a back-to-school event, Haskins spent time handing out backpacks, school supplies, and hygiene necessities to kids. He also worked with the Salvation Army’s Project bundle up, where he and fellow Steelers players took children shopping for winter gear. His work wasn’t done, however, as he delivered Christmas gifts, shoes, and health care necessities to families in need over the holiday season.
In March, Dwayne and some of his teammates took time to visit elementary schools in the local Pittsburgh area. Here, they read to the children and shared stories of how to overcome obstacles. He gave advice, made the kids laugh, and spent time complimenting and encouraging the youth in his presence that day.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, called Haskins, “one of our hardest workers, both in the field and in our community”. It is undeniable the impact he had on those around him, including his teammates.
A teammate unlike any other
Since news broke of Haskins passing, players around the league have taken to Twitter to share stories of Dwayne and express their sadness.
Players like Michael Thomas, Trevon Diggs, JJ Watt, Malcolm Jenkins, Julian Edelman, and countless other stars have also taken the time to send love to Haskins and his family.
“The world lost a great person today”, TJ Watt said on Twitter. “Dwayne meant so much to so many people. His smile was infectious and he was a guy you wanted to be around…we are going to miss the heck out of him as well.” Cam Heyward followed.
Members of the media also felt inclined to share the impact Haskins had on them, With Rhiannon Walker sharing a story of the time Haskins showed her outstanding kindness.
You can read more tributes to Dwayne, here.
His life was short, but the impact he left on hundreds of people will never fade. Today, we send our condolences to his wife, Kalabrya, and all those who knew and loved Dwayne. May he live on through memories.