A Jersey Guy/Mark Blaudschun
His collegiate career in essence began a year ago this week when the redshirt freshman came off the bench in the third quarter, replacing injured starter JT Barrett at quarterback, and led Ohio State to a 31-20 victory over the Michigan Wolverines.
It is a year later and Dwayne Haskins is now the main act for the Buckeyes and his collegiate career could be winding down as the 6-foot-3 inch, 218 pound redshirt sophomore and his teammates again take on Michigan in Saturday's marquis Big Ten rivalry game.
Haskins has been more than good since taking full control of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's offense in September. He has thrown an Ohio State season record of 36 TD passes. He is coming off a remarkable 6 TD (3 pass, 3 run) effort in helping the Buckeyes survive in a 52-51 overtime victory over Maryland last week.
How good was Haskins?
Not only did he carry the Buckeyes from behind 3 times in the fourth quarter, including a final TD pass with 40 seconds left which sent the game into overtime, but he indvidually achieved what turned into the game-winning TD in OT.
In that extra period, it was Haskins, who lunged and reached the extra few inches which gave the Buckeyes lead which was finally preserved when the Terps failed to convert a 2 point conversion which would have given them a stunning victory and knocked the Buckeyes out of the CFP playoff picture.
But it didn't happen and Haskins was the key reason why. Performing well in times of stress is a special trait, doing it time after time when a season's goals are at stake is a different matter.
""He's a leader and he's tough and he really stepped up,'' said Meyer after the win over Maryland. ""He took a very very (big) step (forward).
There might be only a few more
Beating Michigan in Columbus is of course, essential. Winning a Big Ten title (with a win over Northwestern) would be Step 2 and then winning either a bowl game (Rose?) or making it into college football's Final Four would be the last steps for Haskins in this college season.
But with each success, Haskins may be taking another step towards the NFL draft next spring. But before that "Good-bye Columbus'' tale can be told, Dwayne Haskins is enjoying what he has accomplished this season and what still awaits, beginning on Saturday.
For that, Haskins is TMG's Newsmaker of the Week.