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Dwayne Haskins death: NJ mayor remembers NFL QB as ‘hometown hero’

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Dwayne Haskins’ tragic death over the weekend reverberated across every community the NFL quarterback touched, including his hometown of Highland Park, New Jersey.

Haskins was described as a “football prodigy” in New Jersey before he left the state for Maryland, where he would attend high school before playing at Ohio State University. According to NJ.com in 2019, Haskins’ family moved from South Brunswick to Highland Park and then again to Piscataway.

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Dwayne Haskins of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after a 12-yard touchdown in the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, California.

Dwayne Haskins of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after a 12-yard touchdown in the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, California.
(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler mourned with the rest of the football world after learning of Haskins’ death.

“Dwayne was a hometown hero. Our close-knit community of Highland Park, and the entire football world, mourn his loss at such a promising young age. Our prayers go out to the Haskins family. May Dwayne’s memory be a blessing,” Brill Mittler said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Monday.

Haskins would play high school football in Maryland and eventually commit to Ohio State, even as his home-state college Rutgers was reportedly recruiting the quarterback as well. In his sophomore season at Ohio State in 2018, he had 4,831 passing yards and 50 touchdown passes. He led the team to a Rose Bowl victory against Washington.

DWAYNE HASKINS’ INSTAGRAM FLOODED WITH SYMPATHIES FROM NFL STARS

Dwayne Haskins of the Steelers looks on during the Detroit Lions game at Heinz Field on Aug. 21, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dwayne Haskins of the Steelers looks on during the Detroit Lions game at Heinz Field on Aug. 21, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Haskins turned pro in 2019, selected by Washington. He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021 after a fallout with the organization that drafted him.

He was killed early Saturday morning when he was struck by a dump truck while walking along a South Florida highway, officials said. Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Indiana Miranda said Haskins was pronounced dead at the scene.

“He was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 when there was oncoming traffic,” Miranda said in a statement.

Miranda said the incident is “an open traffic homicide investigation.”

Dwayne Haskins of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against the Dallas Cowboys at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on Aug. 5, 2021 in Canton, Ohio.

Dwayne Haskins of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against the Dallas Cowboys at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on Aug. 5, 2021 in Canton, Ohio.
(Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

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It wasn’t immediately known why Haskins was traveling on the highway. He appeared to be in South Florida over the course of the week practicing with Steelers teammates Mitchell Trubisky, running back Najee Harris and tight end Pat Freiermuth.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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