COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State’s spring game is often a reunion for former players who make their way back to Columbus to reunite and watch the Buckeyes carry on the legacy they helped build.
Legacy is a word that was front of mind for quarterback C.J. Stroud and several former Buckeyes who spoke about what the late Dwayne Haskins meant to them personally and to the Ohio State brotherhood.
Stroud decided to honor Haskins in the spring game by wearing his last name on Stroud’s No. 7 jersey — the same number Haskins wore when he mesmerized Buckeye fans during his time at OSU.
“He’s an inspiration. Always has been,” Stroud said. “He inspired me being a Black quarterback as well. He expressed himself in many different ways, so I respect that and I just think he’s a great person . . . I definitely think Dwayne was a great human being first and foremost and he definitely left a legacy here that I watched. He changed the culture of quarterback here.”
Cameron Heyward, who played with Haskins for one season in Pittsburgh, spoke about the kind of person Haskins was when the two were teammates.
“The thing that Dwayne brought the most that was very surprising was his unselfishness. He came into a situation where we already had an established quarterback but that never changed the way he worked,” Heyward said. “He would go out into the community and interact and I think everybody understood how much he cared.”
Former OSU offensive lineman Michael Jordan had the chance to play with Haskins from 2017 to 2018 and said the 24-year-old Buckeye legend was more than just a teammate.
“He was a brother,” Jordan said. “He was a man of faith and he made sure to check in on every single teammate every single time he could. Every day you walked into the Woody you saw Dwayne with a smile. He always brightened my day and it was just a pleasure to be his teammate and his brother.”
Even players who didn’t have an opportunity to play with Haskins, like former OSU receiver Chris Fields, said, “Words can’t explain how special Dwayne was. He cared about everybody that he crossed paths with and that says a lot about his character. He was a genuine person. He supported me since day one . . . It’s just sad he wasn’t able to fulfill some of the dreams we talked about within the last few weeks but Dwayne’s going to be in my heart forever.”