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Football: Dwayne Haskins finishes season with decision on future uncertain

The most passing yards in Big Ten history.

The most total touchdowns in Big Ten history.

The sixth quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 50 touchdowns.

Ohio State redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins finished his first season as starting quarterback with each of these accomplishments in his resume, leading the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record as Big Ten champions and winners of the Rose Bowl.

But immediately following the game, Haskins, who has a decision to make regarding his future, said his key motivation for returning would be to not finish tied for fourth in pass touchdowns, but first, aiming for the 58 scores Colt Brennan threw for Hawaii during the 2006 season.

“It was a blur, but I wanted the Colt Brennan touchdowns,” Haskins said. “The Colt Brennan touchdowns, that’s a motivator.”

Haskins ends his historic season under center with no clear answer about his future. He can return to Ohio State, lead the first season with head coach Ryan Day at the helm and go for the Brennan record he so desperately wants.

Or the redshirt sophomore could go to the NFL, where he will be one of the clear top options at the quarterback position, and likely will be selected near the top of the first round.

For now, Haskins isn’t feeling the pressure of picking one or another. Right now, it’s a coin flip in his mind.

“50-50,” he said.

In what has a supposed 50 percent chance of being his final game, Haskins threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns, all of which came in the first half, helping to give the Buckeyes a 28-3 lead after three quarters.

Haskins made NFL-caliber throws up and down the field against what many consider to be an NFL-caliber defense, proving the capabilities the quarterback has after just one season as a collegiate starter.

But it is not just about talent for Haskins. It is not just about if he can make the jump.

It’s about things outside of football, making the redshirt sophomore question if he wants to make a move to the NFL.

“The school, the teammates, the coaches, the friends, girlfriend’s here … I gotta finish my degree in a couple semesters,” Haskins said. “A lot of positives.”

Further factoring into Haskins’ decision is what will be happening with the position once he does leave the program.

Ohio State has been linked to freshman quarterback Justin Fields, who announced he would be transferring from Georgia. Haskins said he has talked to Fields and that he is waiting to see what Haskins ultimately ends up doing.

But already at Ohio State, redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell has proclaimed himself as the starter if Haskins heads to the NFL.

For Fields to transfer, it would take a commitment from Haskins that he is leaving, potentially speeding up the urgency for the redshirt sophomore.

Even with Fields, his teammates and fans all waiting to hear the decision, Haskins isn’t rushing his decision. The only date on his calendar is Jan. 15, the final day he is allowed to declare for the draft.

“The 15th, so we’ll see,” Haskins said. “My teammates want me to come back every day, so I’m used to teammates telling me to come back.”

For weeks, Haskins said he will start to think about his decision after he is finished with the Rose Bowl.

Now, the Rose Bowl is finished, and Haskins has two weeks to make up his mind.

Will the quarterback who broke nearly every passing record in program history return for another run under a new head coach?

Or will the quarterback who already proved everything he needed to for the NFL become one of the highest draft prospects at his position, the highest for Ohio State since Art Schlichter was drafted by the Baltimore Colts No. 4 overall in 1982?

At this point in time, Haskins is 50/50, and he has two weeks to decide which of his dreams is more important for him in 2019.

“It’s hard, it’s my dream to play in the NFL, it was my dream to play at Ohio State,” Haskins said. “One day I’ll look back on it and see how much the season it was and how great it was, but right now it’s day by day, so I got a lot of decisions to make in the near future.”

One comment

  1. Dwayne, we love you but this should be the easiest decision you’ll make in a long time. Do not make the same mistake Cardale Jones made. Go pro. You are expected to go in the top ten of the first round. If you come back you have a small chance of moving up the picking order and a huge chance of moving down.

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