Haw Makes His Case At Classic

Columbus Independence star Erik Haw will be a freshman at Ohio State in a few short months. He made a nice splash, though, in Saturday's Ohio All-Star Classic with 88 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. Click here for more on this fine tailback prospect.

Tony Pittman used spring football as his platform to impress Ohio State's coaches and make his case to play tailback for the Buckeyes as a true freshman.

Pittman did that by graduating early from Akron Buchtel and enrolling at OSU in time for spring football.

His classmate, Columbus Independence standout Erik Haw, did not get the same opportunity. He stayed at Independence through the spring semester, a move that allowed him to advance to the state track meet in the 100-meter dash as well as a member of a relay squad.

But Haw was front and center at Saturday's Ohio All-Star Classic at Columbus Crew Stadium. The 6-0, 200-pound Haw did not disappoint as he tallied 88 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. His South team won the game 44-28.

"This was a great experience for me," Haw said.

Haw, who will represent Ohio in July's Big 33 Football Classic before enrolling at OSU, was asked if he is now prepared to start his college career.

"No, I'm not all the way prepared yet," he said. "But I'm going to be working hard. That's what Buckeyes do."

Haw had 65 of his yards in the second half. He opened the half with a nifty 48-yard run, exploding over right tackle for the big gainer before he was angled down.

"I was just looking for daylight," Haw said. "It was a spread offense, but you have to be 60-40 (pass-run ratio). We knew we were going to pass the ball a lot, so when I got a chance to run it I just wanted to do my best."

After a quiet first half, Haw carried eight times on his team's first drive of the second half. He capped that 80-yard march with a 1-yard touchdown plunge on fourth-and-goal.

"It was a like a chess game," Haw said. "We wanted to set them up. We were passing a lot and we saw the middle was open. We had a couple of plays that worked. They had a great defense with a lot of all-stars.

"I expected a passing game by the way we practiced," said Haw, who caught two passes for 12 yards while splitting time with his former City League rival, Gary Russell of Walnut Ridge. "It didn't matter to me as long as I was having fun and got a couple of shots to run it. It's always fun when you win.

"Down on the goal line, we were just trying to punch it in by any means necessary."

Haw was asked if he was able to display power and speed in this game.

"I tried," he said. "That kind of balance is good. We'll see what happens on the next level."

When asked about the Big 33 game, Haw said, "That's even a bigger step. I'm looking forward to that."

As a senior, Haw had 3,038 yards and 30 touchdowns for Independence. He knows he will be at the back of the line at Ohio State, as he and Pittman will open preseason camp behind seniors Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall.

Regarding his plans for his freshman year, Haw said simply, "I want to come in and try to earn a starting position and try and get some carries."

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