The Eleven Warriors Web Report Discusses Dwayne Haskins Becoming Ohio State's Starting Quarterback After Joe Burrow's Departure

By 11W Staff on May 15, 2018 at 5:32 pm

The Eleven Warriors Web Report comes to you weekly from the Spectrum Sports studios in downtown Columbus, featuring our own Beau Bishop, Dan Hope and James Grega.

While it's long been suspected that Dwayne Haskins was in line to Ohio State's starting quarterback this upcoming season, head coach Urban Meyer said so publicly for the first time on Monday, when he acknowledged that Haskins "will get the first opportunity to be the starter" during a speaking appearance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, as reported by Joe Scalzo of the Canton Repository.

As such, the resolution to Ohio State's starting quarterback question was the topic of discussion on this week's edition of the Eleven Warriors Web Report.

While Meyer didn't set it in stone that Haskins will be the Buckeyes' starting quarterback, potentially leaving the door ajar for Tate Martell to still compete for the job in fall camp, he made it clear following Joe Burrow's decision to transfer from the program, the Buckeyes are entering the summer with a No. 1 player on the depth chart at the position.

That's a change from the last time Ohio State had a starting quarterback competition, in 2015, when it wasn't known whether Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett would start until Jones took the field for the Buckeyes' first offensive play of the season at Virginia Tech.

"We don't know exactly how this dynamic's going to work between Dwayne and Tate, but we do know that (Dwayne)'s the guy," Hope said. "It's his quarterback job now."

In addition to saying that Haskins is in line to be the starter, Meyer also said Monday that Haskins' skill set "is going to change how we attack defenses." That's not exactly breaking news either, as it's known that Haskins has a different skill set from his predecessor (Barrett), but it is music to the ears of those who are hoping to see a new-look offense in Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson's second year as offensive coordinators.

"That's why people have been talking about Dwayne Haskins since before last season, because that's what people want to see," Hope said. "They want to see a different offense. They want to see Ryan Day get the reins and open up, go back to a more vertical offense that we really haven't seen since that 2014 championship run (with Jones)."

As Bishop noted, the Buckeyes would prefer to still have Burrow on the roster because it would give them better depth at quarterback, but it is crucial that the Buckeyes now have a clear starter whose lead the rest of the team can follow. It creates a delicate situation for the Buckeyes, however, because beyond Haskins and Martell, their only other scholarship quarterback is Matthew Baldwin, a true freshman recovering from surgery on his ACL. And even though Burrow is no longer with the Buckeyes, there's still an expectation that Martell will see situational playing time off the bench.

"There's pros and cons to both sides of Burrow leaving," Grega said. "The pro, obviously, is you know who your guy is and the guys know who to follow and they know who is going to have the keys to the offense. The downside is you want to keep Martell happy, and you have to imagine that they're going to play him in a Wildcat package or some form of that this season, but if he gets hurt running that package, you have nothing behind Haskins. Conversely, if Haskins goes down, who do you have behind Martell? So you have to walk that fine line of making sure you keep Tate happy but also making sure you keep him healthy.

"If you can do those things, I think they have the opportunity to be very successful on offense this year. But if something goes wrong, there's one injury, they're in some trouble."

For more on Ohio State's quarterbacks and the rest of the Buckeyes' offense, watch this week's episode of the Eleven Warriors Report on Spectrum Sports Mid-Ohio, premiering at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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