Ohio State Fans Create Shrine for Dwayne Haskins at Ohio Stadium
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State fans formed a makeshift shrine at Ohio Stadium in Columbus to commemorate the life of Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins after his death in Florida Saturday morning.
Haskins’ untimely death stunned many fans and players across the league, but perhaps, none more than the place where he made his name and had his greatest success as quarterback.
Haskins committed to Ohio State, where he redshirted in 2016 and backed up J.T. Barrett in 2017 before starting one season in 2018. He threw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions, while leading the Buckeyes to the 2018 Big Ten Championship and 2019 Rose Bowl, winning MVP honors in both games.
The shrine itself presented a somber atmosphere at a stadium where Haskins brought Buckeyes’ fans so much joy, excitement and happiness over his time as a signal caller.
Haskins’ home and away jerseys hung on the gate before the main entrance into the stadium. Below them was a sign that said, “Rest In Peace. Dwayne Haskins #7. Once a Buckeye, Always a Buckeye. Thank You.” Another sign to the right of it, said “#7 forever. Buckeye Nation Loves You D.H,” with a heart drawn next to it.
At the foot of the gate there was various Ohio State memorabilia strewn about, including a football and a mini Ohio State helmet. One fan walked up to the shrine, with tears in their eyes, and left a grey Ohio State shirt before standing in front of the gates to pay their respects.
There was little speaking, with most people taking a picture of the shrine or standing in silence, taking in the severity of the situation at hand. People acknowledged others, but kept interaction to a minimum, maintaining peace and quiet out of respect for the tragedy.
In addition to the fans’ actions at Ohio Stadium, current Ohio State Ryan Day, who was Haskins’ quarterbacks coach at OSU, and former Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer both publicly expressed their sympathies.
“The loss of Dwayne is beyond tragic and extremely difficult to process,” Day wrote on Twitter. “For those who knew him closely, he was much more than a great football player. He had a giant heart, old soul and an infectious smile. The Ohio State community and our entire football program are heartbroken.”
“Heartbroken to hear of the loss of Dwayne Haskins Jr,” Meyer said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to his incredible family. One of the greatest QB’s in Ohio State history, but an even better son, teammate, and friend. God Bless!!”