Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud He announced the NFL Draft, announcing on the last day that players can officially declare their entry into the 2023 draft.
Stroud’s decision was not surprising given his stature. But while he waited for the announcement, hope grew among the Ohio State fan base that he could return for the 2023 season.
“The operation was difficult,” Stroud said in his announcementAnd the decision, one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. As a child, I dreamed of playing football at the highest level and after many prayers, I made the decision that it was time to turn those dreams into reality.”
By going to the NFL and being in the top five, he basically secured $35 million in his first contract.
A two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, Stroud finished his career at Ohio State with a record of 21-4 as a starter and with 16 Ohio State winning records and total offense records. He has always been one of the most dynamic players in the sport over the past two seasons, finishing with 85 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.
Perhaps Stroud salvaged his most dynamic collegiate performance for his final game, considering the discount and the stakes, as he wanted the Buckeyes on the cusp of upsetting Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Stroud finished with four touchdown passes, no interceptions and 348 receiving yards. He even showed some flashes of dynamism in the running game, rushing for 34 yards and showing a rush of gaining yardage with his feet on key turns of the game. Ohio State missed a field goal at the buzzer and fell 42-41 to the eventual National Champions.
Stroud would leave Ohio State as one of the program’s most dynamic quarterbacks and the program’s third consecutive starter to be a first-round pick, with Justin Fields No. 11 overall in 2021 and Dwayne Haskins No. 15 in 2019. Before Ohio State became head coach Ryan Day for quarterback in 2017, and the program has not selected a quarterback in the first round since Art Schlichter in 1982.
Stroud hinted at this finding in the wake of Ohio State’s loss to Michigan earlier this season. He lost to the Wolverines in both of his starts against them and this year he knew that would be part of his legacy at Ohio State, which led him to fester about his decision.
“People will say I never won the award, and I understand that,” Stroud told reporters after the November 23-45 loss. “People will say I’ve never won a Big Ten championship. I understand. When it comes down to it, I just have to take it.”
Among the records Stroud will hold is Ohio State with a complete offense in a single game, as he accounted for 583 yards of total offense against Utah in the Rose Bowl last season. He set five Rose Bowl records in the 48-45 win, including passing yards (573), touchdown passes (six) and points accounted for (36).
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