There was a theme to Ryan Day’s press conference on Monday morning in Columbus as the head coach stood behind a podium to talk about the tragic passing of former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.

“Compassion for others,” and “infectious smile” were the qualities Day talked about most during a difficult conversation Monday morning. The head coach could’ve raved about all of Haskins’ on-field accomplishment while wearing the scarlet-and-gray, but it was his personality that is remembered most.

“Compassion for others. I don’t think he thought of himself first,” Day said when asked what he remembers most about Haskins. “He was always thinking about his friends and family first.

“However, he wanted to be great. He was driven to do that and worked really hard to do that.”

Haskins was killed on Saturday morning after being struck by a vehicle while in South Florida. He was training with fellow Pittsburgh Steelers teammates at the time of the accident.

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At the time of his death, Haskins was less than one month away from celebrating his 25th birthday.

“He meant a lot to my family. He meant a lot to this program,” Day said. “We all are hurting.”

Haskins had one of the most magical seasons in B1G history for a quarterback in 2018, his lone season as the starter. He started all 14 games for the Buckeyes, throwing for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns while completing passes at a 70% clip. At the end of the year, he was named B1G Offensive Player of the Year, B1G Quarterback of the Year and was a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Haskins was also named the B1G Championship Game MVP after throwing for 499 yards and 5 touchdowns in a win over Northwestern to claim a conference title. He also earned Rose Bowl MVP honors after throwing for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns to defeat Washington.

But neither of those performances is the one Day thinks of most when he remembers Haskins. It was a 52-51 overtime thriller against Maryland in College Park.

“He grew up a lot in that game. I think he had 3 rushing touchdowns,” Day said. “He wasn’t going to be denied. … And to do it in his home state. He stepped up in a big way.”

Day did speak a lot about Haskins’ talent as a quarterback — his big arm and the confidence he played with in every game. But he continued to come back to Haskins as a person.

That, more than anything, is what will leave a lasting impact.

“He left a legacy, even at 24 years old,” Day said. “I think that says so much about who he was as a person.”