COLUMBUS — 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.
He was the Big Ten offensive player of the week a record six times. The only blemish on Haskins' resume is the inexplicable 49-20 loss at unranked Purdue Oct. 20. Haskins passed for 470 yards in the game, primarily because the Boilermakers had shut down Ohio State's run game and forced the Buckeyes to throw 73 times. The loss kept Ohio State out of the College Football Playoff and hurt Haskins' Heisman bid.
His departure will make for another intriguing quarterback derby beginning in spring practice between Fields, a dual-threat player with a big arm, and fleet Tate Martell, who already has two years playing under Day's tutelage. Redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin also will be in the mix.
Martell, who was the heir apparent before Fields' arrival, said he is determined to stay at Ohio State and win the starting job.
- QB Tate Martell says he is leaving Ohio State for Miami
- Less than two months after taking the job, Patriots defensive coordinator Greg Schiano steps down
- Ohio State spring game: Coach Ryan Day says there is a QB competition despite hype surrounding Georgia transfer Justin Fields
- Ohio State: Projected backup QB Matthew Baldwin says he will transfer
- Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins savors Rose Bowl win, is mum on future
- Ohio State sends coach Urban Meyer out on top with a Rose Bowl win over Washington
- College football: Bloom not off Rose Bowl for Ohio State's Urban Meyer
- College football: Ohio State's Haskins preparing for final game of OSU career?
- Ohio State players: Urban Meyer won't let go until the end
- College football: Kyler Murray second straight Oklahoma QB to win Heisman Trophy
- College football: Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins named Heisman Trophy finalist
- Ohio State: Buckeyes not thinking about anything but beating Northwestern, winning Big Ten title
- No. 6 Ohio State 45, No. 21 Northwestern 24: Buckeyes pour it on late to win second straight Big Ten title, but playoffs look like long shot
- Dwayne Haskins steps forward as a leader as Buckeyes hit stride
- Ohio State vs. Michigan: Buckeyes QB Dwayne Haskins played hero last year against the Wolverines, but can he do it again?
- (UPDATED) No. 10 Ohio State ravages No. 4 Michigan's top-rated defense for 567 yards in blowout win
- College football: Tale of two defenses could decide Ohio State-Michigan game
- College football: Ohio State vs. Michigan is once again a huge game for both
- No. 9 Ohio State 52, Maryland 51: Buckeyes barely hang on, squeak past Terps in OT
- Ohio State: Criticism of the Buckeyes frustrates Urban Meyer, but he knows it comes with the territory
- No. 8 Ohio State 26, No. 24 Michigan State 6: Buckeyes give Spartans the boot with punting, defense
- Ohio State football: Buckeyes get running game rolling again
- No. 8 Ohio State 36, Nebraska 31: Buckeyes find missing ground game but still struggle to put away Huskers
- Ohio State looking to get back on track against Nebraska
- Ohio State: Buckeyes using bye week to try to fix a number of weaknesses
- Purdue 49, No. 2 Ohio State 20: Purdue hands Buckeyes first loss in blowout fashion
- No. 2 Buckeyes still seeking improvement on trip to Purdue
- No. 3 Ohio State 30, Minnesota 14: Haskins, receivers help Buckeyes hold off Gophers
- No. 3 Ohio State 49, Indiana 26: Dwayne Haskins throws six touchdown passes to help Buckeyes stay unbeaten
- Ohio State football: Urban Meyer issues 'call to arms' to team, wants some players to step up their games
- No. 4 Ohio State 27, No. 9 Penn State 26: Buckeyes storm back in fourth quarter to deny Nittany Lions again
- Ohio State: Highly touted receiver Binjimen Victor picks perfect time for breakout game
- College football: Ohio State and Penn State becoming a rivalry that matters
- College football: Offenses at forefront of Ohio State-Penn State clash
- No. 4 Ohio State 49, Tulane 6: Buckeyes unstoppable in first half, remain undefeated
- Ohio State: Urban Meyer returns to sideline for No. 4 Buckeyes against Tulane
- No. 4 Ohio State holds off No. 15 TCU, 40-28
- Getting defensive: No. 4 Ohio State and No. 15 TCU ready to tangle
- Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins making it look easy so far
- No. 4 Ohio State 52, Rutgers 3: Two quarterbacks too good as Buckeyes rout Rutgers, improve to 2-0
- No. 5 Ohio State 77, Oregon State 31: Buckeyes bring the thunder during stormy season opener, piling up 721 yards of offense
- College football: Season's here for No. 5 Ohio State, but Urban Meyer's not
- Ohio State: Buckeyes' receivers ready to answer Meyer's call
- Ohio State football: Plenty of concerns off the field, but expectations still high for Buckeyes, even with a new QB
- QB Joe Burrow decides to transfer from Ohio State
- Ohio State Spring Game: QBs make pitch for starting job; North Ridgeville's Demario McCall has big day
- Ohio State: Buckeyes will have to replace lots of key players next year
- Ohio State: Urban Meyer has confidence J.T. Barrett will be able to play tonight against Wisconson despite surgery
- J.T. Barrett injury and how it happened angers Ohio State coach Urban Meyer
- Freshman QB Dwayne Haskins steps in for injured J.T. Barrett, leads way as Ohio State rallies to beat Michigan for the sixth straight season
- AP Top Heat Check: After shakeup, greatest Saturday ever
- No. 8 Ohio State 52, Illinois 14: Buckeyes roll over Illini, clinch Big Ten East title
- Unstoppable: No. 9 Ohio State makes it look easy against Nebraska
- Ohio State puts the rut in Rutgers, routs the Scarlet Knights for the second straight season
- Ohio State: Buckeyes looking to shore things up against overmatched UNLV
- Jackpot: Ohio State rolls over Vegas
- Ohio State: Army likely to encounter angry Buckeyes today at Ohio Stadium
- Ohio State football: Buckeyes enter spring practice with fewer question marks than last year