NEW YORK — Urban Meyer’s retirement did not surprise Dwayne Haskins Jr.
“I knew it was coming,” Haskins said Friday during interviews before Saturday night’s Heisman Trophy ceremony.
He also was not surprised by the ascension of offensive coordinator and his quarterbacks coach, Ryan Day, as Meyer’s successor. Haskins has worked under Day for two seasons and had only glowing things to say.Join the conversation at Facebook.com/BuckeyeXtra and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra
“I feel he’s the right man for the job,” Haskins said.
Haskins said that Meyer told the team at a meeting early Tuesday morning that he would step down as Ohio State’s coach.
“He let everybody know his decision and why he did it,” Haskins said. “There were some tears. People cried. I cried. I knew it was going to happen eventually. He’s a great coach, one of the greatest of all time. I’m glad he was able to go out while he still had his health.”
Meyer announced his retirement on Tuesday, citing the headaches from an arachnoid cyst under his skull as the major reason.
“As far as coach Meyer, the cyst is pretty serious,” Haskins said. “I knew he would eventually stop coaching. When, I didn’t know.”
Day served as acting coach while Meyer was on administrative leave and then a three-game suspension for his handling of the Zach Smith saga. Haskins echoed what has been the consensus opinion — that Day showed his head-coaching chops with the way he handled his temporary head-coaching duties.
Haskins expects that to continue when he takes over the program for good.
“For one, he’s a great person,” he said. “And secondly, he’s a great football mind. He has all the tools from coach Meyer and (head strength) coach Mick (Marotti). There’s isn’t anything I feel he can’t do.
“I feel he does a great job with being personable, but also being stern and having that head-coach personality. He makes you feel comfortable, but you know you have to respect him.”
It’s possible the Rose Bowl game against Washington will be the Buckeye finale for Haskins as well as Meyer. As a redshirt sophomore, he’s eligible to enter the NFL draft.
Haskins said Day becoming coach would have no effect on his decision. If Haskins does return, he knows that Day couldn’t spend as much time with him as he did as his position coach.
“Coach Day does a great job preparing me for the game,” he said. “For him to be the head coach means he couldn’t be as hands-on as he was with me during the season. But with (senior quality-control coach) Corey (Dennis) and the rest of the offensive coaching staff, I’m sure he’ll still have his hand on the offense the way Lincoln Riley does at Oklahoma, so I’m not really worried about that.”