Pittsburgh Steelers QB Dwayne Haskins dies after being hit by a vehicle

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins died Saturday morning when he was hit by a car, his agent Cedric Saunders told ESPN’s Adam Shifter. Haskins was 24 years old.

Haskins has been training in South Florida with other Steelers players, running their backs and wide receivers.

“I am shocked and speechless at the passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. “He quickly became part of the Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our most hard-working workers, both on the field and in our community. Dwayne was a great teammate, but a great friend to so many. Really heartbreaking.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Calabria and all his family during this difficult time.”

After a distinguished 2018 season at Ohio State, Haskins was named 15th overall by the Washington Leaders in the 2019 draft.

Haskins spent two turbulent seasons with Washington before signing in Pittsburgh prior to last season.

“We are shocked to hear of the tragic death of Dwayne Haskins Jr.,” co-owners Daniel and Tania Snyder said in a statement. “He was a young man of enormous potential who had an infectious personality. To say we were broken is an understatement. Our hearts and prayers are with the Dwayne family and all who knew and loved him.”

“Dwayne was a talented young man with a long life ahead,” captains coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “This is a very sad time and I am frankly at a loss. I know I speak for the rest of our team to say it will be greatly missed. Our entire team sends our heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Haskins family at this time.”

Haskins played 15 games over two seasons with Washington, collecting a quarterly total of 29.4 — the league average over that period was 63.5. He threw 12 touchdown passes to 14 interceptions.

Haskins’ time in Washington started off somewhat controversially, as scouts and coaches lobbied against being drafted with the 15th pick – but Snyder wanted him. Haskins was a big name locally, having starred for three seasons at Police High School in Potomac, Maryland.

Haskins started seven games in his rookie year and the first four the following season, but was fired after a 3-10 loss to Baltimore. Washington released Haskins later in the season and unclaimed in waivers. He signed a backup/future contract with Pittsburgh in January 2021.

Humbled by the decision, Haskins emphasized that he was keen to work hard and absorb as much of Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph as possible. He made the list as the third man but only wore clothes once, and was a reserve in the draw with Detroit after Roethlisberger was put into COVID-19 protocol the night before the game.

In response to the news of Haskins’ death, Rudolph simply tweet“Destroyed.”

Steelers player TJ Wat Haskins recalled him as an “optimistic man”.

Both Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert have praised Haskins for his improvement since joining the team, and the Steelers re-signed him to a one-year deal as a restricted free agent in March. He was expected to compete with Rudolph and Mitch Trubesky for a place.

“We’re excited to see what Dwayne can deliver, both from competition, and perhaps even developing as a start,” Colbert said in January.

Haskins had his biggest success on the ground in Ohio. After spending his first two seasons behind JT Barrett, Haskins defeated Joe Burrow to be the Buckeyes quarterback in the 2018-19 season.

Haskins supported the Ohio State coaching staff’s decision by delivering perhaps the greatest season in the program’s history. He set the Big Ten’s one-season records for passing yards (4831), touchdowns (50) and total offensive yards (4,939) as well as a total of 28 school records.

This record-breaking year led to Haskins being named to the Heisman Cup Final and a third AP All-American team.

In his last game as Buckeye, Haskins threw three touchdowns and 251 yards in the Rose Bowl victory over Washington.

“The Ohio Department of Athletics is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dwayne Haskins on Saturday morning,” the school said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the entire Haskins family during this most difficult time. Our prayers are with the family, and with current and former teammates, coaches, friends, and relatives.”

“Heartbroken to hear of Dwayne Haskins Jr’s loss,” former Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer Saturday tweet. “My thoughts and prayers go out to his amazing family. One of the greatest QB in Ohio history, but even the best son, colleague, and friend. God bless you!!”

Information from ESPN’s John Keim and The Associated Press was used in this report.