On the question of whether Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. deserves to be one of the finalists invited to New York City for Saturday’s Heisman Trophy presentation ceremony …
“He’ll be in New York,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said on Sunday, interrupting the questioner.
That actually won’t be decided until Tuesday, when Heisman officials get word from their vote-tabulating accountants on how many players have received enough votes to earn an invitation. The number of invitees has varied through the years, but there is a sense that based on Haskins’ performances the past two weeks in the wins over Michigan and Northwestern that his stock has risen significantly in what amounts to a contest with his friends Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Kyler Murray of Oklahoma.
“To be able to be in the same conversation with them just makes me feel I put the work in to be able to be considered the best quarterback in the country,” Haskins said Sunday during a news conference also discussing the Buckeyes' matchup with Washington in the Rose Bowl. “I have much respect for those guys.”
>> Video: Ohio State's Haskins on Heisman credentials
As a first-year starter, Haskins has set Big Ten season records — and leads the nation — in passing yards (4,580) and touchdown passes (47). That includes 499 and five, respectively, against Northwestern in Saturday’s 45-24 victory in the Big Ten championship game.
“I feel like I did what I needed to do to give my case to win the Heisman,” Haskins said. “I broke Drew Brees’ touchdown (passes) record, I broke Curtis Painter’s single-season passing record and did a lot of things this year.
“You know, it’s not my choice of who gets to win the Heisman, but either way, I just want to be considered for it. If I win, I win. If I don’t, I’ll get ready for Washington. But just to be able to go to New York and show my kids one day I was a finalist would mean the world to me.”
Although it remains to be seen whether he gains an invitation, “He’s going one way or the other — I’ll fly him there myself,” Meyer said. “With the way he played, and his stats (compared) with those other quarterbacks? He’s got to go to New York. I don’t know if he’ll win it or not.”
About the Rose
It’s no secret that Haskins is entertaining the idea of applying for the NFL draft after this season, yet he indicated Sunday he is eager to play in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones had a different response when the last question to him was whether he also plans to play.
“We’ll see,” Jones said, smiling, as he walked off.
A fourth-year junior, the All-Big Ten player is expected to leave for the NFL. Several players nationally who have the same intentions have announced they will not play in their teams’ non-playoff bowl games, including defensive linemen Ed Oliver of Houston and Rashan Gary of Michigan.
Last season, OSU cornerback Denzel Ward declared for the NFL draft and opted out of playing in the Cotton Bowl against Southern California on the day of the game. He went on to become the fourth player taken in the first round, by Cleveland.