Former Buckeye QB Cornelius Green, a friend of Dwayne Haskins' family, grieves his death

Bill Rabinowitz
The Columbus Dispatch

Cornelius Green first met Dwayne Haskins Jr. in 2018 before the Rose Bowl.

Green was a star quarterback for Ohio State from 1973-75 as the first Black player to start at that position for the Buckeyes. Haskins was also a pioneer of sorts, concluding a season that raised the bar for OSU quarterbacks.

“I’ll never forget coming up to Dwayne,” Green said Monday. “I introduced myself and boy, he came up with a big smile.”

They posed for pictures, one of which Haskins posted on Twitter.

“It said, ‘Thank you, sir, for being the first African-American quarterback at Ohio State. If it wasn't for you, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to play,’” Green recalled. “I thought that was the biggest compliment anybody can give someone else, especially another quarterback like himself. He was on top of the world at that time, and it made me feel good.”

Ohio State football history:Ohio State football's history with race source of both shame and pride

Haskins and Green even wore the same number as Buckeyes — No. 7.

Now, like so many others, Green is grieving Haskins’ tragic death at age 24. Green is a Washington, D.C., native and works at the St. Albans school in the city. St. Albans plays in the same conference as the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, which Haskins attended.

Former Ohio State quarterback Cornelius Green was a friend and mentor to late Buckeye quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

“I got to see Dwayne all through high school, though I hadn't personally met him yet,” Green said. “But I had talked to his mom and dad before he went to Ohio State and talked to his parents while he was at Ohio State, especially the year that he sat behind J.T. (Barrett).”

Haskins was a confident player, and that 2017 redshirt freshman season as a backup tested him. Green said he told Haskins’ parents that Dwayne should stick it out and not transfer.

Haskins did stay. He got his chance against Michigan when Barrett was injured, and the comeback victory over the Wolverines propelled Haskins toward his 2018 success.

Green and the Haskins family became close, and he was invited to Haskins’ NFL draft party in 2019 in which he was selected by his hometown team.

Dwayne Haskins:Cornelius Green attends Dwayne Haskins' draft party.

“They made sure that I sat with the family up in the front row on draft night,” Green said. “I feel very close to the Haskins family, and now I’m very heartbroken.

“I know his career didn't end well here in D.C., but D.C. loves him. The Bullis community is devastated. I can say the whole city of D.C. is just devastated.”

Bill Rabinowitz covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at or on Twitter @brdispatch.

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts