Buckeye QB Haskins heads to NFL
Schiano out as Ohio State defensive coordinator
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dwayne Haskins is NFL bound after one spectacular season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.
The third-year sophomore who rewrote the school record book had been expected to enter the draft and is a projected first-round pick.
Haskins said on Twitter on Monday he would forgo his final year of eligibility “after many thoughts and prayers with family and close friends.” He wrote that just as it was a boyhood dream to play for Ohio State, he also dreamed of being an NFL quarterback.
His sturdy, 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame, quick release and exceptional accuracy make him a top prospect. He smashed most Ohio State and Big Ten passing records, throwing for a nation-leading 50 touchdowns. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting behind Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.
The announcement came on a busy day for the Buckeyes. New coach Ryan Day hired a pair of new defensive coordinators — one of them from hated rival Michigan. Greg Mattison, who spent the past four years as defensive line coach under Jim Harbaugh, joined Day’s staff along with veteran NFL assistant Jeff Hafley. Greg Schiano, the defensive coordinator for the past three seasons under Urban Meyer, is out of a job.
The Rose Bowl win over Washington on Jan. 1 turned out to be the last game for both Haskins and Meyer. Haskins was named MVP after completing 25 of 37 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the finale for Meyer before retirement.
Day, who worked with Haskins as quarterbacks coach, likened him to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Day coached both in the NFL.
“Those are the two guys I’ve been around that are in that same category right now — their anticipation, their accuracy, the way the ball comes off their hand,” Day said. “I’d compare him to those two guys.”
Haskins’ NFL decision was telegraphed by Justin Fields, the Georgia quarterback who announced Friday he was transferring to Ohio State. Haskins said the two talked first, and it was seen as unlikely Fields would have transferred unless Haskins was moving on.
After a redshirt year in 2016, Haskins backed up J.T. Barrett in 2017. After Barrett was injured during the Michigan game, Haskins entered and led the Buckeyes to a comeback victory.
He battled Joe Burrow for the starting job in the spring and secured it when Burrow transferred to LSU last summer. He proceeded to change the Buckeyes into a pass-first team, throwing for more than 400 yards five times, including a career-high 499 in the Big Ten Championship win over Northwestern. That came after he threw for six touchdowns in the 62-39 rout of Michigan the previous week.
No CFP expansion soon
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The College Football Playoff is not close to expanding.
After a month of chatter about possible changes to the four-team playoff, the conference commissioners and university presidents who constitute the playoff brain trust met Monday at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose and quelled the speculation.
“As far as expanding the number of teams in the playoff, it’s way too soon — much too soon — to know if that is even a possibility,” Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, the chairman of the CFP board of managers, said in a statement.
The playoff is in its fifth season. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson will play the national championship game Monday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Expansion talk perked up last month when Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told The Athletic he was ready to begin talking about an eight-team format after his conference was left out of the playoff for a second consecutive season.
Delany was a longtime and staunch playoff opponent during the days of the Bowl Championship Series, so having him and some of the athletic directors in the Big Ten come out in favor of looking at expansion caused a stir.
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco, buoyed by UCF’s performance the last two seasons, also has begun making a case for a bigger field.
But those statements conflicted what other conference commissioners have said about expansion. On Monday, they spoke with one voice.
“I’m not going to say everyone, (but) a consensus is very pleased with the four-team format and the success, most importantly, that we’ve had over the past five years with the system that we have,” Keenum told reporters.
Illini get WR transfer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Former Oklahoma receiver A.D. Miller will play for Illinois next season.
Illinois coach Lovie Smith made the announcement in a news release Monday . Miller is a graduate transfer who will be immediately eligible for one season.
Miller had 21 receptions for 236 yards and four touchdowns in three seasons for the Sooners.