Dwayne Haskins Jr. has as little confidence and aura as few players. He would walk towards a house or a field and all eyes were on him. As a player, teammate and athlete, Huskins was a standout.
Of course, most of the people around here knew Haskins. The Washington DC metro area was quickly adopted by the local football community in New Jersey, known as the DMV, when his family moved to a Maryland suburb. He will never let you forget that he was from Garden State and regularly mentions his friendship with Mo Jabi, a 2016 colleague who signed with Rutger. Huskins spent his youth playing ball in New Jersey and he often spoke well of Jabi and his cousin, the NFL receiver. Mohammad SanuGrowing.
In high school, Huskins played for the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, a reputable private school just over 30 minutes from my home. I have seen him play regularly in his high school career but he really burst into the recruitment scene in 2014 Rival Camp Series Baltimore. Huskins won the Quarterback MVP award that day, in a loaded group of high-class people, and offers began to arrive as spring turned into summer. We knew he had the talent to win MVP if he appeared and acted and he blew up the competition. Looking back on that roster, there were multiple future NFL players on the field that day.
The word I always associated with Huskins was smooth. He was seen performing almost effortlessly. Somehow, during the season and in all the stressful situations at camp and in the 7-on-7 tournament, I felt like I had never seen him sweat or see that he was working so hard. My outlook changed completely when I had the opportunity to attend a personal training session at Huskins. His work ethic, passion and focus towards the game was clear and it became clear that the games showed him so effortlessly because of the amount of work he put into them. Her passion has translated into the field, where she has had fun with her teammates and done what they love to do. Within the white line, it was easy to see why people were attracted to him and saw him as a leader.
I vividly remember playing a bullshit when they hosted The Avalon School, whose star players were the future defenders for Alabama and Dallas Cowboys Trevon Diggs at the time. Huskins and Diggs were very close and talked about the game with interest for a while. The Bulls won the game easily and filled the Huskins stat sheet. In one play he took a snap and almost immediately felt the pressure. He ran out of his pocket and ran downstairs first. It’s amazing that a quarterback who was known for making flashy plays is engraved in my memory. I have seen Huskins play dozens of times since then and have had countless conversations with him and his father but that is what came to my mind when I heard of his death on Saturday morning.
This simple drama kept spinning in my head. Throughout his career, he has had countless show stopping performances, weekly dramas and game winners. What stuck to me, though, was that on some level, he saw that it was not the flashy performance that made him special. This is the basis of playing youth ball with his friends, hard work with his coaches and coaches, guidance of his family and their mutual support which will lead him to victory.
In its core part, Dwayne Huskins Jr. was an athlete driven by an inner motivation to be the best. He did not achieve his success on his own and let everyone who helped him know how grateful he was for their support. Huskins’ time may be reduced, but, as the saying goes, life is a journey, not a destination. I am grateful for the time to contact Huskins and I am 100 percent sure that thousands more are saying the same thing.
Rest in peace, Dwayne.