Dwayne Haskins death has hit me extremely hard, along with the rest of Buckeye Nation. It is so hard to wrap my head around how someone with so much joy for life and such a promising career ahead of him has been taken away from us. It is absolutely devastating.
The fact that he was only 24 years old is gut wrenching to me. Haskins was only five years older than me. It is always so difficult to see a young person around my age pass away, because they were supposed to live a long, full life. Unfortunately, he did not get to make it to his 25th birthday.
Scrolling through social media has simultaneously helped me feel better, while becoming even more sad, with me realizing how good of a person he was. So many teammates, past and present, expressed how sorrowful they are, sharing personal stories of their friendship with Haskins. One of the constant themes I kept seeing in those remembering him was his smile that lit up the room and his love for life. I remember seeing this smile when he was playing for Ohio State; he just seemed like a kid living out his dream, which he was.
The one, unbelievably amazing year in 2018 where Haskins was Ohio State’s starting quarterback was my junior year of high school. I’ve been a Buckeye fan my entire life, and I obviously remember the 2014 National Championship, but I also was only 12 years old when that happened. Only a few years later when I was 16 did I really start getting into OSU football and becoming an avid fan. Haskins played a huge role in that.
Dwayne Haskins was so fun to watch. He was so dominant out there, but was having the time of his life while doing so. It seemed like every week late in the season he was breaking a new record; I became accustomed to it. He set a precedent moving forward, making Buckeye fans have high expectations for every QB that came in after him. He wanted to be great, but he wanted everyone else around him to be great, too. That is evident by the outpouring of love on social media from his brothers during his time in college.
This is hard. It’s hard to believe that we won’t get the chance to see him succeed in the pros, whether that be in the form of being the amazing teammate he was, or by throwing dozens of touchdown passes like it’s nothing. It’s difficult to think that he won’t be returning to any Ohio State football games. It’s simply heartbreaking that he is no longer on this earth anymore.
My peers here on campus watched Haskins perform with their own eyes. The seniors got to watch him in The Shoe during that one magical season. Now, they are paying their respects to a former classmate. A memorial has been set up in front of the rotunda outside of the stadium, and many people have come to put their Haskins memorabilia, signs expressing their love and flowers to honor him. The students have organized a candlelight vigil, scheduled to take place Tuesday night, to grieve the loss of a Buckeye. This is hard.
While Haskins isn’t with us anymore, his memory will certainly live in forever. Yes, his name in the record books will always be there. His Rose Bowl win won’t be forgotten. However, more than that, I think he is going to be remembered for his zeal for life, his love for others and his passion to be the best version of himself he could be. He lived with the mindset that everyday is a gift, and I would like to imitate that. Life is fragile. Hug your loved ones a little tighter. May we, Buckeye nation, uplift each other during this tragic time.
Rest In Peace, Dwayne Haskins. Gone, but most certainly, never forgotten.