Leadership can be defined a number of ways. When you really think about it though, you generally only have two types of leaders. On one hand, you have a leader who is simply a leader because of his or her position. It’s an appointed status. On the other hand, you can have a leader who, because of their actions, causes people to follow them. It’s an earned position.
There is no way around it. You have leaders in every workplace, every study group, and every group of friends. They are going to fall into one of those two categories.
At Ohio State, every year it is expected to have a handful of leaders who help guide and mold the football team. Last year, the Buckeyes had the luxury of guys like Billy Price, J.T. Barrett, Tyquan Lewis, and Sam Hubbard holding down the fort. This year, new people will have to step into those massively vacant holes, and one spot where it will be needed most is quarterback.
All the way through spring camp and even after Joe Burrow announced his transfer, the common theme was that Burrow was a better leader than Dwayne Haskins. Few reasons were ever given, but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Joe Burrow was an Ohio kid who was hurt the year prior. It’s no secret that a large portion of the Buckeye fan base longs for the days of Jim Tressel starting Ohio kids everywhere.
It’s a lot better story to say he is a better leader when he doesn’t have the on-field success that Haskins had on a big stage. For whatever reason people wanted Burrow as the starter over Haskins, saying he was a better leader was the easy way out. No one could argue with you because being a leader is intangible, especially when any real information about the QB race is concealed by vague comments made by the coaching staff. Some people grasp any straw (or tire) to make this stance.
All of this leads me to the real leader — Dwayne Haskins. While a large portion of the fan base sat patiently and waited for Joe Burrow to take over, Haskins sat waiting too. He wasn’t loud and outspoken, he simply did his job and waited behind another leader. Time after time, you would see Haskins staying after practice to get more throws in. He knew his chance was coming.
See folks, that is what leaders do. They are always trying to improve their situation and improve the situation of those around them. He knew at some point the team would need him. He knew at some point he would be vying for the vacant quarterback job. He knew at some point he would be counted on. He was going to do everything in his power to ensure he did not let his team down.
On the biggest stage. In the biggest rivalry. Playing in front of a hostile environment. Dwayne Haskins, your 2018 Ohio State quarterback and leader, was ready.
You see, leadership can be appointed or it can be earned. Dwayne Haskins has earned the right to be a leader of the Ohio State Buckeyes. It’s not simply a vague word assigned to him.
Buckeye Nation has a new leader to cheer on, and he is #ourQB.