Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day spoke about the impact of Dwayne Haskins on his program on Monday in a press conference before the school’s 2022 spring game.
“I had a meeting with the team today and we talked about a lot of things,” said Day, who became the team’s acting head coach towards the end of Haskins final collegiate season with Ohio State. “There is a good group of our guys who played with Dwayne, and they’re hurting. It was a tough weekend for all of us. Certainly our prayers are going out with the entirely family. His wife. Certainly his parents. Dwayne and (his mother) Tamara were awesome to me. They were very, very close … He used to talk about her all the time. And certainly all his friends and teammates. It’s hard to wrap your mind around something like this, especially when it happened so tragically to a young person and somebody who had such a big heart.
“When you talk about Dwayne, your think about the compassion he had, especially for all his teammates and friends. He always took time after practice to be around family members, kids. He was like a big brother to (my son) RJ. One time he took RJ to a high school basketball game. And they spent a lot of time together. He meant a lot to my family. He meant a lot to this program. He is going to be sorely missed. It’s so close to Saturday morning right now. It’s still hard to get our feet underneath us and see clearly right now. We all are hurting.”
It wasn’t just Haskins’ impact of the program that Day highlighted on, but what young athletes and children can learn from Haskins himself. It is well-known that Haskins grew up wanting to play at Ohio State. In that sense, the young quarterback did get to achieve his dream before tragically dying this past weekend at the age of 24.
“He was 11-years-old walking through this facility and said that this is what I’m going to do and then did it,” said Day who became the team’s acting head coach towards the end of Haskins final collegiate season with Ohio State. “I think that’s the legacy that he’s going to leave behind to so many younger people across the country, not just in Buckeye nation. That you can set a dream, a goal and go achieve it. And then really, you know broke a lot of records that year, that first year in 2018. And I think that’s probably going to be one of the biggest legacies that he leaves behind, that he set a dream and he chased it and he did it.”
Over the weekend, a makeshift memorial was built outside Ohio Stadium, where the Ohio State Buckeyes play their home games, so that fans could honor Haskins. Players of the current team, including current quarterback CJ Stroud, paid tribute to Haskins in practice earlier today.
Ohio State QB CJ Stroud pays tribute to Dwayne Haskins at today's practice ❤️
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 11, 2022
The team announced plans to honor the quarterback during their spring game this upcoming Saturday, but didn’t share details on how they intend to honor him.