After a standout performance at the Elite 11 Eastern Regional camp in D.C. last weekend, Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. rocketed onto the radar of some of the nation’s top college football programs.
Rivals is calling him “the hottest recruit in America,” and the offers show it: since Sunday, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State, Maryland, Florida State, Boston College, Rutgers, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech have all offered the 6-1, 180-pounder.
“It’s definitely crazy,” Haskins said. “…It’s definitely a humbling experience that people are taking witness to what I’ve been working hard for the past couple years.”
Haskins transferred to Bullis from New Jersey, in part with the hope of gaining better exposure for college coaches. Haskins earned the Bulldogs’ starting spot from day one, and threw for 1,130 yards and 14 touchdowns while leading Bullis to a 9-1 record.
His Bullis teammates, like Wake Forest-bound Justin Herron, fellow emergent recruit Jonathan Holland (19 offers), and running back Devonte Williams (8) also drew major college interest, and so with coaches perpetually watching, those numbers earned Haskins a spot on several power conference schools’ radars.
By the time he headed to the Elite 11 camp, Nebraska, Southern Methodist, Temple and Utah had already offered the rising junior. In the days since, that number has more than tripled, with schools like Georgia and North Carolina State also expressing interest without offering just yet.
“I feel like they saw a lot of potential,” Haskins said. “I threw almost every pass well, because I feel like I was on fire pretty much the whole day. I think they saw me handle the pressure in the pressure chamber, and they told me I was the top underclassman there.”
But with the rapid rise up national recruiting boards comes added pressure, something Haskins said he believes he’s already shown he can handle, and something he sees as an honor.
“Having people from colleges hitting me on Twitter saying how good they think I’m going to be, putting expectations on me, it’s very humbling,” Haskins said.
Haskins will visit Penn State this weekend, and says he’d like to get down to Florida soon as well. As for front runners, Haskins named Ohio State and Rutgers as other schools with a soft spot in his heart. The New Jersey native says he grew up watching Rutgers, and was also a big fan of Ohio State. After the Buckeyes offered him this week, Haskins Jr. tweeted “received my 8th offer from my dream school #ohiostate #buckeyes.”
“When I was younger, I used to watch Ohio State and Rutgers a lot,” Haskins said. “Definitely watching Ohio State and Jim Tressel and Troy Smith and Ted Ginn, definitely watched Rutgers with Ray Rice and Tiquan Underwood, all of those guys. So I was a fan of both schools and it was astonishing getting offers from them this week. I dreamed of going there as a little kid, and now that I have a chance of going there, it’s great.”
Haskins said he’ll attend LSU’s camp this summer, and that he wants to spend time making visits to the schools that “he and his parents think would be a good fit for him.”
With offers in tow and two years left in high school, Haskins said that besides narrowing down his ever-lengthening list of offers to a few legitimate contenders, his next goal is to “start living up to expectations.”
“I don’t want to reach my full potential yet, but to continue to get better every year,” Haskins said. “So next year, not only do I want to get better, but I want our team to get better, to win another IAC championship, and prove to those coaches that they made the right choice in offering me.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 3
The number of interceptions Haskins threw in his last nine games this season. He threw two interceptions and completed three of 12 passes in Bullis’s 42-0 loss to St. John’s in his first start and the team’s season opener. He threw three total interceptions and averaged a 60% completion rate through the next nine games.
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PHOTOS OF THE DAY:
In a showdown of Virginia boys’ soccer powers, No. 3 West Springfield edged No. 5 T.C. Williams 3-1 Wednesday. Here’s what it looked like:
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
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