Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media on Monday to talk about the tragic passing of former Buckeye quarterback Dwayne Haskins and to answer questions and share memories of his time with Haskins. The highlights of everything Day had to share can be found below.
+ Day appreciates everybody showing up. It was a difficult day for everyone. They had a team meeting today and they talked about a lot of things. There are players still at OSU who were teammates with Dwayne Haskins and they are hurting. Thoughts are with the Haskins family at this time.
+ “It’s hard to wrap your mind around something like this.” “When you think about Dwayne, you think about the compassion that he had.” He always took time after practice to talk to kids. He took Day’s son to a high school football game before. He was like a big brother to his son RJ.
+ “We are all hurting.”
+ First impressions of Dwayne? You could see he was a joy to be around. Guys liked him. He had an old soul too. Sometimes when you were talking to him, it felt like you were talking to a 45 or 50-year old man.
+ Favorite memories? A lot of stuff off the field that will stay private. On field memories? The Maryland game. He rushed for three TDs that day and did it back at home. He wanted to show his toughness and ability to run. “I’ll remember that one the most.”
+ Dwayne Haskins kickstarted the way Ohio State throws the ball now. His legacy? He was 11 years old when he first walked into the Woody and said he was going to be a Buckeye, and he did it. “He set a dream and he did it. He chased it.” Haskins has had a “big, big part” in changing the Ohio State offense.
+ They have counselors on hand that can help players who need to talk, but this is also a family and the players will lean on each other. That’s all you can do in something like this.
+ Day thanked everybody who has reached out in support.
+ They will be doing something on Saturday at OSU’s spring game to honor Dwayne.
+ They are still trying to process what they will to honor Dwayne during the season. He has some things written down. Some probably too big, some maybe not big enough.
+ “Buckeye Nation meant a lot to Dwayne.”
+ Dwayne always felt like he was built for this. “He just had that way about him.” Before his second start, Day woke him up at the hotel and told him it was going to be raining. Haskins told him don’t worry about it, “we got this.”
+ Urban Meyer saw something special in Haskins early on in recruiting. When Day got here, you recognized the talent quickly. The receivers also believed in him as a player and a leader. He built his own confidence and others’ as well. “I think that that part was special.”
+ His conversations with RJ? They were in the car the other day at a quarterback camp, “I didn’t have anything really good to tell him.” Confusing, sad. It makes you hug your loved ones even more. “Something like this is difficult to explain.”
+ Dwayne’s family is crushed. They are staying close to the vest right now, “so we’re trying to respect that right now.” They want the family to know that they are here for them, but what do you say at times like this.
+ Is the program what it is today if Dwayne doesn’t have that 2018 season? “No, probably not.” “I don’t think any of us would be here, the program would be where it is without Dwayne and the way that it all happened.”
+ One word to describe Dwayne Haskins? Day asked that of his players and they kept saying his smile. “I think of his compassion that he had for people.” His talent on the field was “beautiful.” The ball came out so quickly. There were times during practice that the ball never hit the ground. He had such confidence. Day was nervous early in the season in 2018 and Dwayne would calm him down.
+ Hard to say how the team is dealing with this right now. A large portion of the team didn’t know him, but some did. The staff here knew him. Kam Babb said a prayer today and they’re going to lean on each other to get them through this.
+ This is why you put so much work in on a day-to-day basis to build love within the program so that you can handle days like this, but it doesn’t make it easy.
+ For the kids who knew Dwayne, they are a little bit lost right now. It’s been a couple of years since he played here, but they have all stayed in touch. “They’re hurting right now, just like any of us. I’m 44 years old and I don’t know how to feel.”
+ It’s been unbelievable how many lives Dwayne touched. “He left a legacy even at 24 years old.” The outpouring of support shows what a special person he was.
+ Dwayne was a big brother to Justin Fields and CJ Stroud. When you walk in the shoes of an OSU quarterback, few people know what that’s like. Joe Burrow stayed in touch with Dwayne as well. It’s a tight group because it’s such a unique position.
+ Day talked with Mike Tomlin about Dwayne Haskins and a new start last year.
+ The quarterback room in the spring of 2018 with Dwayne and Joe Burrow was fun every day, but it was tough to get everybody reps. “It was a challenge every day” on the field and off the field. Dwayne grew during that spring because he had to. “I think the other guys in that room got him better” because of the competition in the meeting rooms.
+ On Dwayne’s receivers, “I know that all of those guys are crushed right now.” They were all fun to be around. Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell were self-made. All of the receivers believed in who Dwayne was and they all stayed in close contact.
+ “For somebody to make an impact in one season the way he did is remarkable.”
+ How does he want Dwayne to be remembered? “Compassion for others. I don’t think he really thought about himself first.” All of the relationships mattered to him. “He wanted to be great. He did.” “He was driven to do that. He worked really hard.” “Infectious smile.”
+ Dwayne was able to take stressful environments and make it fun. People saw that in him. Day would have to sometimes make sure everybody was focused, but Dwayne was ready for the moment. It was fun to play quarterback at Ohio State.