Stephen A. Smith dug into a piece of humble pie during Friday’s episode of “First Take,” as the commentator told Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. that he was an “ignorant fool” for previously labeling the NFL draft prospect a “runner.”
“I had to go back and watch the tapes,” Smith said at the beginning of the segment. “My bad. My bad. I just want to make sure I’m clear about that.”
Smith had received criticism for the take back in February, considering that Haskins compiled just 194 total rushing yards in his two seasons in Columbus. But there’s no doubt he was proficient through the air. Last year he led all Division I quarterbacks in passing yards (4,831) and passing touchdowns (50) as the Buckeyes went 13-1 and won the Rose Bowl.
“I just find him to be more of a runner than a thrower,” Smith said Feb. 8. “I could be wrong about that, but that’s what I find.”
The junior signal-caller, a former All-Met at Bullis, is expected to be a first-round pick in next week’s draft and has many strengths to his game. Running just isn’t one of them.
Smith, notorious for standing by his takes, later doubled down on Twitter by saying that Haskins was not a true pocket passer.
“I’m not saying he CAN’T pass,” Smith tweeted. “But I view him the way I view him. Just an eye test thing. I’m not talking statistically.”
It’s certainly not the first time Smith has had to respond to something he said on the air. In the last year alone, Smith said sidelined Chargers tight end Hunter Henry would have a key role in that night’s game against the Chiefs, that former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt would be playing in the NFC title game and that Drew Brees wasn’t a top five quarterback participating in this year’s playoffs. Of the last gaffe, Smith later said he “just forgot” about the Saints star.