Better Know a Buckeye: Dwayne Haskins

By Vico on June 24, 2016 at 10:10 am
Dwayne Haskins

Our "Better Know a Buckeye" series continues with its 20th installment. We profile Dwayne Haskins, a quarterback from Potomac, Maryland.

Dwayne Haskins

  • Size: 6-3/198
  • Position: QB
  • Hometown (School): Potomac, MD (The Bullis School)
  • 247 Composite: ★★★★
  • National Ranking: 88
  • Position Ranking: 7 (QB, PRO)
  • State Ranking: 3 (MD)
  • Under Armour All-American

Dwayne Haskins' courtship with Ohio State starts in the distant past. Haskins participated in a football camp in 2008 and became enamored with the program from afar. He even got a scholarship offer from Ohio State in April 2014, relatively early in the process. However, Haskins gradually moved from Ohio State to consider Penn State and Maryland before selecting the Terrapins last May. A change of coaches in College Park led to a change of heart and a renewed interest from Ohio State, which was looking for a quarterback for this 2016 class. Haskins pledged to Ohio State on January 18, 2016.

I retell his recruitment below and what led to his commitment. Thereafter, I provide a scouting report for Ohio State's lone quarterback signee in 2016. I close with a projection of a redshirt in 2016 and some highlight film for the reader to watch at the end of the feature.


Dedicated Ohio State fans may remember that Dwayne Haskins' recruitment actually starts near the end of the Tressel era. He was about 10-years-old when he and several participants at a football camp received a tour of Ohio State's facilities in May 2008.

He even got a picture with then-head coach Jim Tressel during his stay. Haskins may not have started middle school yet, but he held an open affinity for Ohio State from his home in Maryland.

Jim Tressel and Dwayne Haskins, 2008
Dwayne Haskins and Jim Tressel, 2008

It was fair to call Ohio State a "dream offer" when Haskins' recruitment started in earnest in high school. The Buckeyes came calling in May 2014, extending its offer concurrent with an offer from Florida and after programs like Clemson and Nebraska had already extended verbal scholarship offers as well.

Haskins was excited about the prospect of playing for Ohio State, but age had made him more aware of his situation. He held offers from some of the best programs and best universities across college football. He needed to take time to consider his options.

"Yeah, it's going to be hard. I fell in love with Ohio State when I was younger, as you can see in the video, but I am older now and I realize there are other great places out there that can maximize my opportunities," Haskins told Eleven Warriors about separating his dreams as a kid from his opportunities now. "I mean, I have all the same values as I did then, looking for academics and athletics and all that stuff. I want to go where I feel most comfortable, not just with the staff and people (at the school), but personally."

Ohio State fans that following recruiting may also remember the nature of the quarterback situation at this time. Joe Burrow had committed for 2015. Danny Clark had already committed for 2017. Ohio State had three quarterbacks on scholarship for the 2014 season as well. Ohio State's coaches strive for one quarterback in every recruiting class and focused their recruitment on just two prospects for 2016: Jarrett Guarantano and Dwayne Haskins.

The coaches may have liked Guarantano more. Crystal ball projections for Haskins gradually moved from Ohio State and to two other Big Ten competitors, Penn State and Maryland. Penn State, which had long viewed Maryland as its recruiting territory, seemed in prime position to secure Haskins early in the fall. The first crystal ball projections that switched from a unanimous selection of Ohio State had thought Penn State would secure Haskins' commitment before his senior year.

Maryland, the actual in-state program, also made a strong push. Then head coach Randy Edsall knew securing the top talent in the state was a priority if the Terrapins were to ever take off with him as head coach. It's one reason why he hired Mike Locksley, the guy who recruited Arrelious Benn from Washington DC to Illinois, as his offensive coordinator. Edsall and his staff branded this recruiting push as #TheMovement and made Haskins one of their highest priorities.

It paid dividends when Haskins pledged to Maryland on May 15, 2015.

This might have been how Haskins' story ends for the purpose of the Ohio State fan if not for Edsall's mid-season dismissal (incidentally, after the loss to Ohio State). Mike Locksley may have been able to hold #TheMovement together if Maryland's athletic department decided to promote him from interim coach to head coach. However, Maryland chose to hire Michigan's defensive coordinator instead. Durkin was unlikely to retain Mike Locksley and, as a result, Haskins started to rethink his commitment to Maryland.

Ohio State was also looking for a quarterback at this time. It thought it had Jarrett Guarantano, but his commitment to Ohio State never materialized and Ohio State's coaches started to look elsewhere. He later pledged to Tennessee. Ohio State thought it had Tristen Wallace as its quarterback for 2016, but he switched his pledge to Oregon.

Jim Tressel and Dwayne Haskins, 2016
Jim Tressel and Dwayne Haskins, 2016

Haskins took an official visit to Ohio State on December 11, 2015. Haskins waited another month before making a decision, but D.J. Durkin began offering scholarships to available quarterback prospects for 2016. Haskins was not long for Maryland's recruiting class.


Dwayne Haskins switched his pledge from Maryland to Ohio State on January 18, 2016, becoming the 20th member of Ohio State's 2016 recruiting class.

He talked to ESPN about the decision.

"It has been a dream of mine to play for Ohio State," said Haskins, the No. 3 quarterback in the 2016 class. "This prestigious university best represents my family values, and playing under Urban Meyer's strong leadership abilities and a person that I can have a relationship with after football was important."

He flipped from Maryland, but was also considering Florida and LSU before choosing the Buckeyes.


Dwayne Haskins is more pro-style quarterback than dual-threat. He can run, but Ohio State recruited him because of a new change of philosophy for Meyer during his year between Florida and Ohio State. Meyer now wants passers who can run at quarterback more than he wants runners who can pass.

I'm intrigued by Haskins' ball placement. Casual fans may take for granted that great quarterbacks do more than hit a receiver between the numbers or get the ball "on target". Great quarterbacks know how to throw a ball to just the right spot to maximize a receiver's ability to pick up yards after the catch. This might be Haskins' great superlative right now. He does well to throw to his receivers' outstretched hands, allowing them to make bigger plays after the catch.

He shows a nice touch on his throws too. This is another area the casual fan may not appreciate about quarterbacks. He shows great ball placement, especially on the short throws. He shows an acute awareness of space on throwing post routes into the secondary. He throws a pretty deep ball too. He gives just the right amount of time for his receiver to run underneath the pass and catch it.

A pass-first, mobile quarterback, he also shows greater than average pocket awareness and, importantly, patience. "Mobile" quarterbacks are too quick to abandon a play with even the slightest pressure. Haskins is more mature in the pocket than most of his peers.


It's hard to say how much field vision Haskins has. Play-action was a staple of his high school offense. Almost every passing play on his film features play-action. This simplifies his reads and usually left a receiver open on a nine route or a post when some defender bit on the play-action.

It won't be that easy at Ohio State. Right now, I don't have much to say about his ability to make reads and go through his progressions.

Haskins measures at 6-foot-3 and almost 200 pounds, but he's not particularly big. No fan would compare his athleticism to Braxton Miller. The first critique is easily fixed in strength and conditioning. The second critique is not particularly damning. It just means he's a pass-first spread quarterback that is unlikely to do too much damage with his feet.


Quarterback will always be an intriguing position battle for the program. Ohio State recruits one quarterback each class, but only one will play. This leaves about four scholarship QBs on the roster at a given time.

J.T. Barrett is the starter and Joe Burrow is almost certainly his backup now that Stephen Collier is lost for the year. I expect Haskins to play in the unfortunate event that Ohio State loses Barrett or Burrow to a season-ending injury. A redshirt is most likely in 2016.


Here are senior highlights of Dwayne Haskins.


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