To Be The Man
When it comes to throwing the ball, nobody has ever done it better at Ohio State than Dwayne Haskins.
Sure, Haskins threw the ball more than any other Buckeye quarterback in a single season before him, so his numbers are going to be larger. He had 150 more attempts than the previous record holder. In fact, Haskins’ 373 completions this past season were just 11 completions short of Joe Germaine’s previous record of 384 pass attempts in a season for Ohio State.
Not only did Haskins throw the ball more than any Buckeye ever, however, he also completed it better than anybody. His .700 completion percentage this past season shattered Troy Smith’s old record of .653 in 2006 when he won the Heisman.
Everything that Haskins did when it came to throwing the ball was spectacular and exacting, and it also gave the remaining Buckeye quarterbacks the blueprint for success.
Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin have already begun the battle to determine who will be Ohio State’s starting quarterback this season.
With Haskins’ as the example to follow, Baldwin knows it won’t be easy to win the job for either quarterback.
“It’s going to take a lot,” he said. “My work is cut out for me. Dwayne has set the standard so high. I don’t know if you guys have seen practice, but he rarely misses, and that’s something that [we] are going to take and run with. You’ve got to be perfect if you want to have success here at Ohio State.”
The Necessity of Encouragement
Playing football comes easier to some than others, but rarely comes easy to even the best of college freshmen.
Everything is new. Freshmen go from being the best players on their high school teams as seniors to rookies in college with more questions than answers.
Each day is a learning process and some days are harder than others, and not only do coaches have to help these players become better, they have to let them know that any struggles they are going through are normal.
There are times when coaching is as much encouragement as it is teaching, especially when dealing with a freshman going through some difficulties. Freshman offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere experienced that need this past season.
“I need my coaches a lot,” Petit-Frere said. “Encouragement is a big thing here because there are going to be bad days when some guy is just having a really good day on defense and you’re really down. Sometimes you’ll feel like, ‘You know what, maybe I’m not built for this.’ Usually the coaches can tell, and they’ll try to pick you up and get you going again. It’s tough. This place is not for the weak and the timid, but I get a lot of support from the coaches.”
A People Person
Once Urban Meyer announced his retirement, the rumors and speculation about Ryan Day’s coaching staff began.
Day eventually replaced the entire defensive staff, save for defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Johnson certainly could have left and gone somewhere else to coach, but he chose to stay. His players were definitely one reason he stayed, as is the fact that he’s fairly entrenched in Columbus right now. The decider, however, could very well have been Johnson’s confidence in Ryan Day.
“Ryan Day is going to be a great coach for us,” Johnson said recently. “He’s a player’s coach. The players love him. He’s got a great demeanor, really bright. Highly intelligent. Knows football. Knows people. The main thing about being a head coach is you’ve got to know people and he’s got great people skills. I’m looking forward to having the chance to see him take us to the next level here.”