Dwayne Haskins Jr.'s dad laid me down, his NFL star mentor Mohamed Sanu had "no comment" and an officer at his high school in Maryland said he should direct all media inquiries to the family. "Especially from reporters in New Jersey."
NFL Draftne Haskins Dwayne Haskins' research into New Jersey was an unusual two-month journey, but the alarm bells did not ring until his father did not return my text message.
In fifteen years, I reported on high school sports in New Jersey, including six mainly in high schools, seven mostly by Rutgers, and now two in the Giants. I've never had a degree of mystery and push-back before
Here is the story:
Instead of talking to the usual suspects about Haskins & # 39; Ascension, I wanted to learn more about his often crappy roots. He was not born as a four-star recruit, Big Ten Recorder and NFL Draft pick of the first round.
I knocked on doors and called trustworthy sources that I've worked with many times. Everyone had nothing but glowing praise for Haskins Jr.'s ability, dedication and maturity. When I described myself a second time in a recent ESPN story with the elderly Haskins ̵
If the giants decide on Haskins, right? another situation like Eli Apple (also from the state of Ohio) and his pronounced mother? Will Haskin's senior try to influence the infamous New York market media interviewing his son for games and practices? Why the secrecy?
Here is the transcript of our conversation. It raises more questions than answers:
Me: It's a tremendous news that a New Jersey native is the next Giants quarterback. I've found my own sources and will write a story, but I really would like you or Dwayne Jr. to have a voice in the story. Can you give me some time?
Haskins Sr. : I just want to be clear with you: What is the content of this article? What are you looking for? I am familiar with aspects of reporters. I have an entertainment background. For me, I want the content to match our core values of the family. To be able to participate in an interview, I want to make sure that it is accurate. What I have been able to accomplish in the process over the last 10 years, there are sources that are simply not credible. They are selfish and encourage the use of Dwayne's resemblance. In order for me to participate, I need to know more exactly who you spoke to. Because a two-day or two-day encounter does not define a relationship or know the core values or our beliefs and functioning.
Me: I understand that perfectly. I talked to Rick Mantz, former South Brunswick football coach. I talked to Jake Rodriguez, President of South Brunswick Pop Warner. I talked to Tony Racioppi, a quarterback coach in New Jersey. I talked to Mo Jabbie, whom Dwayne Jr. says is his best friend. I talked to a neighbor from South Brunswick, a neighbor from Highland Park.
Haskins Sr.: Some of them are not credible.
Me: I knew most of these people for many years. They are credible in my eyes.
Haskins Sr.: Excuse me. I am the source. This is how the rhetoric gets lost if it is actually selfish and incorrect.
Me: This is not a negative story. That's something I've been working on for months.
Haskins Senior: I understand. I try to tell you as the main source that it actually has to do with the participant. It should be clarified with me. Out of respect. You can not write something that is not right.
Me: Is not that what I'm doing?
Haskins Sr.: Respectfully, I want to work with you to a certain level. But with some people you've talked to, their stories are not accurate. Even if it is positive.
Me: What stories? Who?
Haskins Sr.: I try to get you to understand my point of view, but you have already made it clear that you will write it no matter what.
I I will of course write a story. If something is inaccurate, I certainly want to know. I do not print things that are inaccurate.
Haskins Sr.: Many of the names you've just mentioned make the story incorrect.
Me: I do not know what the story is, respectfully.
Haskins Sr.: It's not about the story. I am the source. I have been doing this for 10 years. The content is faith, family and football. Every writer I work with basically goes through the source with me. A few names do not have the ability to know what's going on. It's about serving and promoting what their agenda is. If you want to go ahead and write the story, continue. I'm telling you out of respect for my family and Dwayne and our values, keep in mind what I'm saying.
Me: I'm listening to you, sir. I'm looking for the middle ground here. Who are you talking about?
Haskins Sr.: I will not go into that. You should come to me first.
Me: I sent you a message two months ago. I respectfully came to you first, because I was looking for people who would recommend you. When I got nobody, I started talking to people I know. I found people who worked with Dwayne as a little boy. I'm not interested in high school or college Dwayne. That's New Jersey Dwayne.
Haskins Sr.: That's not true, these people. It's my turn. Let me pray for that.
Me: Let me ask you the following questions: Besides you, who would I like to talk to, with whom would you recommend in New Jersey, which is exactly? In this way, we can find someone with whom you are familiar.
Haskins Sr.: I'll think about it. Can I call you back? I just wanted to call you back so we can build a relationship to find out what's best for you and what's best for Dwayne.
Me: Perfect. I like it. I think we can find a middle ground if you give me a few names.
Haskins Sr: OK, but at the end of the day, I want you to know that it's about his family integrity and core values. Everyone has to agree with me.
Me: I understand that. I did not call anyone I do not trust.
Haskins Sr.: That's the problem right there. I trust me. The names whose name you allowed do not belong to my inner circle. You do not know my values. You depend on your position, but you have to look at mine.
Me: That's why I returned.
After Haskins Sr. confirmed the Lede anecdote in the main story above. Of course, there was no middle ground and hung up the phone. I called back, left a message and sent another text. No answers.
In the following days, a Bullis School communications officer did not reply to three telephone messages and an e-mail confirming confirmed information elsewhere, and Cilento did not return several messages.
Somerville United President Phil Doman – who coached Haskins in eighth grade – said he would speak with the permission of the Haskins family. He never called back and did not answer a second call.
Ryan Dunleavy can be reached at at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @rydunleavy . Find our Giants coverage on Facebook .