OSU’s Haskins ready if need be
COLUMBUS — To say Ohio State’s quarterback situation has been fluid the past few seasons is an understatement.
Not since 2012 — when Urban Meyer became head coach — has one Buckeye quarterback thrown at least 91 percent of the team’s pass attempts.
Whether that’s because of injury or by design, the fact remains Ohio State’s backup signalcaller, or even its third-string QB, has figured heavily in the narrative of a Buckeye season during Meyer’s reign.
That’s why Dwayne Haskins wants to be ready. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound true freshman from Potomac, Md. will likely be third on Ohio State’s depth chart behind J.T. Barrett and former Ohio Mr. Football Joe Burrow when the Buckeyes open the season Saturday at home against Bowling Green.
”Regardless of the situation, whether someone gets hurt, which I pray to God doesn’t happen, I always feel like I have to be ready in case my number is called,” Haskins said earlier this month at Ohio State Media Day.
”My coaches haven’t really told me what my role will be. They want me to compete. But I know I’m going to have a bright future here. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”
Haskins is one of three scholarship quarterbacks on the OSU roster, but one of two who haven’t taken a collegiate snap.
J.T. Barrett has already taken 461, including 314 in 2014 when he started the year for Braxton Miller, who injured his shoulder in the preseason. Barrett, too, ended up injured, leaving Meyer to turn to third-string QB Cardale Jones for the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin, as well as the Buckeyes run to the national championship.
That situation has Haskins understanding he needs to be ready this fall.
”I’m just learning to get better every day and taking things one step at a time,” he said.
Originally from New New Jersey, Haskins moved to Maryland his freshman year. At Bullis School, he was a first-team all-Maryland QB and finished his prep career with 5,308 yards through the air and 54 touchdowns.
Will his success translate to the collegiate level? Time will tell. Haskins, though, is ready to give it his all.
”It’s a challenge not being the guy right away,” he said. ”I’m just learning to get better with limited reps.”
Haskins quickly added starting quarterback J.T. Barrett has served as a role model of sorts for him.
”He’s helped me with a lot of reads, protections … just being ready,” he said.
In addition to Barrett and Burrow, Meyer has ore QBs slated to arrive in coming seasons. That only drives Haskins to be better.
”It’s going to be great,” Haskins said. ”Competition just gets you better. Coach talks about being a leader, being on the ”Edge.” Whomever does come in here, I’m just going to learn and get better. I just can’t wait to see what happens.”
In the meantime, Haskins is focused on 2016.
”Whatever happens, happens,” he said. ”If they do call on me, I’ll be ready.”