Dwayne Haskins again stiff-armed the question about his future after leading Ohio State to a win in the Rose Bowl on Tuesday night.
“Nowhere as far as like gaining any momentum with that,” the quarterback replied when asked where he was with his decision to enter the 2019 NFL draft or return for his junior season at Ohio State. “I still have a lot of time making the decision, working with my family and teammates and coaches to figure out what's best for me.”
Haskins, who has until Jan. 14 to enter his name in the draft, preferred to keep the focus on Urban Meyer, who was coaching in his final game before handing the program over to offensive coordinator Ryan Day.
“Right now I'm excited to get this win,” Haskins said. "Excited to leave Coach with this victory for myself and the rest of the teammates. It's a blessed situation right now.”
Ohio State fans at the Rose Bowl left no doubt where they stand.
He heard cheers of, “One more year” when he stepped up onto the stage to accept his offensive most valuable player award, and those who crowded around him as he left the stage alternated thanking him for a memorable year and asking for more.
“Well, Buckeye Nation loves me, and I love Buckeye Nation since I was 8, 9, 10 years old,” Haskins said. “So to receive that ovation from them, to know how much they value me as a player and to know how much work I put into this to be in this spot, just to go to school here, just really blessed. Thankful to the guy to the right for recruiting me. And I really couldn't ask for more.”
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound sophomore — who redshirted in 2016 — certainly gave Ohio State fans plenty to remember him by even if he goes pro, as he is widely expected to do.
After throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns against Washington in the Rose Bowl, Haskins finished the 2018 season with 4,843 passing yards and 50 touchdown passes, both Big Ten records.
He also broke Ohio State’s single-season record for passing yards per game (345.9), completion percentage (69.8) and pass efficiency (174.7).
Haskins is ninth in Ohio State history with 5,396 passing yards (having passed former Wayne High School star Braxton Miller’s 5,292 during the Rose Bowl) and tied with Troy Smith for fourth-most touchdown passes (54).
Haskins also broke the Ohio State single-game record for passing yards (499 against Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game), completions (49 against Purdue) and attempts (73, also against Purdue).
Ryan Day, who became Ohio State’s head coach following the Rose Bowl, said prior to the game he had discussed Haskins’ decision with him.
He anticipated more talk would take place after the game.
“There's a lot involved with it,” Day said. “Obviously he has his family that he trusts and loves and some other people that he'll go to for advice.
“But we want what's best for Dwayne, and as a coach, you want to make sure you're doing that. This is not self-serving in any way where you start talking somebody into coming back just because it's self-serving for the program or for me.
“That being said, we obviously are going to present all the reasons why it would be great for him to come back.”
If Haskins enters the draft, he will hope to become the first Big Ten quarterback taken in the first round since Kerry Collins of Penn State in 1996.
The last Ohio State quarterback drafted as a quarterback was Cardale Jones, who went to the Bills in the fourth round in 2016.
Art Schlichter is the last Ohio State quarterback to be taken in the first round. He was the No. 4 overall choice in the 1982 draft when the Colts chose him.
Prior to this year, 53 Ohio State players have entered the draft with eligibility remaining.
Haskins’ teammates Dre’Mont Jones and Mike Weber announced before the Rose Bowl they will not use their final year of eligibility, decisions that were widely expected as both acknowledged considering going pro last year.
Without Haskins, Ohio State is currently scheduled to have three scholarships quarterbacks on the 2019 roster — sophomore Tate Martell, redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin and Chris Chugunov, a senior who transferred from West Virginia.
Martell served as Haskins’ backup this season.
The Buckeyes have also been linked to Justin Fields, a highly regarded true freshman quarterback who is considering a transfer from Georgia.
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