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Ohio State to honor late Dwayne Haskins during spring game on April 16

Dwayne Haskins left a mark on Ohio State that remains visible and will continue to be for many years to come.

The university's football program will honor the late quarterback during Ohio State's spring game on Saturday, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day told reporters Monday.

Haskins died tragically when he was fatally struck by a vehicle in Florida early Saturday. He was 24 years old.

Haskins' journey to Ohio State was almost too good for a storybook. The quarterback first visited Columbus when he was 11 years old, touring the university's football facilities while wearing a red No. 7 jersey with his name printed across the back. With his father recording his every move on a video camera, Haskins told him he'd one day attend and play quarterback at Ohio State.

Then he went and did just that, succeeding J.T. Barrett and reaching new quarterbacking heights for the Buckeyes. The Maryland product rose to the starting lineup as a sophomore in 2018, setting single-season passing records for Ohio State and the Big Ten Conference by completing 70% of his pass attempts for 4,831 yards and a 50-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Haskins finished his Ohio State career with a pair of exclamation points, throwing for 499 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-24 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game before tossing three more touchdowns and throwing for 251 yards in his final game as a Buckeye, a 28-23 win over Washington in the Rose Bowl.

The QB's performance saw him finish third in Heisman Trophy voting, and he was named a finalist for the Maxwell Award. He declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, where he was selected in the first round by Washington. Haskins spent the 2021 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Haskins' contributions in his single full season reset the standard for quarterback play at Ohio State and set a new bar for passers who followed him. Justin Fields ended up surpassing Haskins in career passing yards and touchdowns with 5,701 and 67, respectively, in his two seasons as Ohio State's starter, leading to his own first-round pick (spent by Chicago) in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Next to follow in Haskins' footsteps: C.J. Stroud, a 2021 Heisman finalist who racked up 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns in his first season with the Buckeyes while wearing the same No. 7 as Haskins. Stroud honored Haskins by writing messages of remembrance for the quarterback affectionately nicknamed "Simba" on his practice jersey during Monday's session.

Stroud has big shoes to once again fill with a program that turned a significant corner thanks to the contributions of Haskins, a person who will be remembered for much more than his on-field exploits.

"Just the way that he was 11 years old walking through this facility and said, 'This is what I'm going to do.' And then he did it," Day said of Haskins on Monday, via ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. "That's the legacy he's gonna leave behind."

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