Remembering Dwayne Haskins

Andrew Onderdonk

Shockwaves were sent throughout the NFL on the morning of April 9th when news broke out about the tragic death of Dwayne Haskins. Haskins was walking on a Florida highway when he was struck by a dump truck, seemingly dying on impact. Haskins was 24. The world of sports immediately erupted into a flood of tributes from fans and stories by those who were close to him. A beloved teammate, son, sibling, husband, and father, the former Ohio State superstar and 1st round draft pick were so much more than numbers on the stat sheet for so many people. 


According to CNN Haskins was trying to cross a highway on foot in South Florida at 6:30 am when he was fatally run over. Near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport where he was training with Steelers teammates such as Najee Harris and Chase Claypool, Haskins was catching a flight back to Pittsburgh, where he currently resides and plays. Per an audio recording from TMZ, Dwayne’s wife Kalabrya called the police saying her husband had run out of gas and was walking to the nearest station to get some while on the phone with her. She had grown concerned when she didn’t hear from him in a while after he hung up and told her he would call back. “He wasn’t answering. Eventually, after 10 minutes of calling the phone, eventually, it cut off. It’s not working now. I had his location. I just want somebody to go in the area and see if his car is there and if he’s OK and if anything happened to him” (CBS Sports). Upon receiving the call and hearing her worries, the 911 operator quickly made the connection to an “incident” on the highway that had just occurred and. The 911 operator informed Kalabrya of this, reassuring her that they have not yet identified the man that was hit and counseling her not to panic. In what was an extremely emotional 911 call, Kalabrya began to become frantic, asking questions about the man’s identity. It was there where the audio clip cuts out. Haskins’ identity was eventually confirmed and he was officially pronounced dead. Another 911 call released by TMZ records a distressed witness of the horrific scene. “There was a man hit in front of me. I was traveling on the road, and I saw a dump truck hit the man,” the witness said before breaking down in tears (Fox Sports). Many people believe we are still missing key details, questioning whether or not we are hearing the full story; however, for now, all we can do is honor the great man Dwayne Haskins was on and off the field.


Born in Highland Park, New Jersey, Haskins attended the Bullis School in Maryland where he immediately became a standout. A 4-star recruit according to 247 sports, the young quarterback would originally commit to playing at the University of Maryland upon committing to Ohio State, the school where for most of us, his story started. Haskins was famously part of a stacked QB room his redshirt freshman year where he, Joe Burrow, and Tate Martell sat behind starter J.T. Barrett. Dwayne would be in a prime position to start his sophomore year when Barrett graduated and Burrow transferred to LSU. At such a storied program in Ohio State, expectations were higher than ever for Haskins. He delivered and then some. In 2018 he would post monstrous numbers in 4,831 passing yards and 50 passing touchdowns, both team and Big-Ten records. Leading his team to a 13-1 and a Rose Bowl victory as well as a spot as a Heisman Trophy Award finalist, the most prestigious award in the sport, Haskins solidified himself as one of the greatest players in his school’s history.


Dwayne Haskins would go on to be drafted 15th overall in the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Commanders. Haskins struggled early on in his NFL career, snowballing into his release from the team in December of 2020. The Pittsburgh Steelers would sign him later that year to back up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Nonetheless, when Roethlisberger announced his retirement earlier this year, Haskins was once again primed to compete for a starting position with free-agent signee Mitchell Trubisky. His new coaches and teammates cited that they felt that Haskins was finally figuring things out as a professional player, and he seemed to be ready to make the big leap into a great NFL quarterback that we all wanted to see (CNN). Unfortunately, we will never be able to see that. 


Dwayne Haskins, son of Tamara, and Dwayne Sr, husband of Kalabrya will be missed dearly but his legacy continues to live on. When honoring Haskins in a spring game, head Ohio State football coach Ryan Day said this: “When you think about Dwayne you just think about the compassion he had, certainly for all of his teammates and his friends. He always took time after practice to be around family members, and kids. He meant a lot to my family and he meant a lot to this program, and he’s going to be sorely missed” (CNN). Even though Haskins’ parents and his wife chose to have separate services, both memorials saw where teammates, family, and friends alike came together to celebrate such an outstanding individual. Rest in peace number 7.