In Urban Meyer's final season at Ohio State, the coaching legend watched Dwayne Haskins throw for 50 touchdowns while the Buckeyes won the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl.
It should be little surprise then that Meyer feels great fondness for Haskins, and that he didn't like to see the young quarterback get benched in Washington.
"I was disappointed," Meyer said.
The coach explained that Haskins is still so early in his career that he needs more work and more understanding of the NFL.
"I've been involved in coaching players that went on to the next level for 30 years. It's a very different level of play," Meyer said. "It's a huge jump, even if you come from Ohio State."
Meyer's comments came via The Buckeye Scoop and he mentioned that Haskins only started for one season in Columbus.
"This is not a career yet. He should actually still be in college," Meyer said.
Haskins just turned 23 in May, and had he redshirted like many college players do, he could still be playing for Ohio State. Instead, he spent two years in college, started one, and then turned pro early and was drafted 15th-overall by Washington in 2019.
Meyer made clear to show how much respect he has for Washington head coach Ron Rivera, but also said that Haskins would be helped if he played for a better team. Washington went 3-13 last year in Haskins' rookie season, and is off to a 1-4 start in 2020.
"The key is you have to get off a bad team," Meyer said.
The coach talked about another Washington quarterback in Alex Smith, who Meyer coached at the University of Utah back in the early 2000s. Smith was drafted No. 1 overall in 2005, and Meyer said he heard plenty of negatives about Smith after his rookie season.
"Alex Smith was told that he was a mistake," Meyer said. "I remember some people telling me he was a bust. Obviously he ended up having a great career."
Ironically, Smith moved ahead of Haskins on the depth chart after Rivera's decision to shake up the Washington quarterback room by moving Kyle Allen to starter.
For Meyer, however, the decisions for this season won't impact Haskins' future, as long as Haskins stays in the right frame of mind.
"This is a marathon for Dwayne and Dwayne needs to stay focused," his college coach said.
"I still think he'll come back."