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Former OSU quarterback Dwayne Haskins remembered as someone who 'uplifted others'

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins plays against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.
Jacob Kupferman
/
AP
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins plays against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day said Monday that it's still hard to wrap his mind around the death of former Buckeye quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who was killed at age 24 in a car crash Saturday morning in Florida.

Haskins, a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, died early Saturday morning in Florida. The 24-year-old died after being hit by a dump truck while walking on a South Florida interstate.

He was walking on I-595 in Broward County "for unknown reasons," Lt. Indiana Miranda of the Florida Highway Patrol told NPR in an email.

Haskins was hit by the truck as he tried to cross westbound lanes, Miranda said. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The fatal crash, which is an active traffic homicide investigation, was reported at 6:37 a.m., Miranda said.

In a statement, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he was "at a loss for words."

"[Haskins] quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival to Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community," Tomlin wrote. "Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many."

Before joining the Steelers, Haskins had a short stint with the Washington team now known as the Commanders. The franchise selected Haskins in the first round of the NFL draft in 2019 before releasing him at the end of 2020.

Washington head coach Ron Rivera said he was "heartbroken" to hear of Haskins' death.

"Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him," Rivera said in a statement. "I know I speak for the rest of our team in saying he will be sorely missed."

At Monday's news conference Ohio State football coach Ryan Day described Haskins as someone who "uplifted others."

"That smile that he had was just infectious and he kind of had an old soul about him," said Day, who noted that his son and Haskins were close.

"He was like a big brother to R.J.," he said. "I remember he took R.J. to a high school football game and they spent a lot of time together. He meant a lot to my family, he meant a lot to this program and he's going to be sorely missed."

The Buckeyes did practice today, but Day said they spent a lot of time talking about Haskins and his impact on the program.

"There are people here that can help and those resources and assets are there for them," Day said. "Biggest thing is to lean on each other and when you're part of a family, that's what you do."

Haskins set multiple Ohio State and Big Ten records in his legendary 2018 season. He was selected in the first round by Washington in 2019 and signed with Pittsburgh last year.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated: April 11, 2022 at 3:37 PM EDT
Glenn Forbes contributed to this story.