Californian gets offer as OSU restocks at QB

Joey Kaufman
Quarterback C.J. Stroud of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., tweeted on Tuesday he received a scholarship offer for Ohio State's 2020 class. [Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise]

A few hours after Ohio State quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich visited a high school in Rancho Cucamonga, California, on Tuesday afternoon, the news arrived.

C.J. Stroud, a senior quarterback at Rancho Cucamonga High, tweeted that he had received a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.

It was the clearest sign that Ohio State hopes to sign two scholarship quarterbacks in its recruiting class for 2020.

For more than a year, the Buckeyes have held a verbal commitment from Jack Miller, a four-star quarterback from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Miller first committed in July 2018, then re-affirmed his commitment last December when Urban Meyer announced his retirement, paving the way for Ryan Day to take over the program.

But the Buckeyes need to restock their quarterback room.

Day said he prefers is to keep four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, but there are currently only three after Matthew Baldwin and Tate Martell transferred earlier this year.

To have four next season, Ohio State would need to sign two quarterbacks since one of its current three on scholarship, Chris Chugunov, is in his final season of eligibility.

When Day was the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the previous two seasons, they had four on scholarship.

It is less common for teams to sign two quarterbacks in a recruiting class since only one can emerge as the starter.

“The quarterback situation in college football is sensitive as it can be,” Day said.

Ohio State has signed two quarterbacks in the same recruiting class only twice since 2002.

As if to preempt questions about the status of commitment with Ohio State last month, Miller wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “All the speculation, I’m solid!”

Miller has not played in the last four games for Chaparral High this season due to an undisclosed injury. He dealt with a strained lat muscle during the summer.

Day said he made no promises about playing time to any quarterback prospects.

“What you tell them in recruiting is all we can guarantee is that there's going to be three other guys in the room with you,” Day said, “and you're going to be part of an unbelievable program, have all the resources you need, be part of a great culture, and you're going to get coached up at the highest level.”

Stroud is a four-star recruit like Miller, but more of a late-bloomer. He didn’t become the starter for the varsity at Rancho Cucamonga until he was a junior.

Miller started as a freshman at Scottsdale Christian Academy before transferring to Chaparral.

Stroud is rated by 247Sports as the fourth-best pro-style quarterback in his class. Miller is No. 11.

Stroud’s profile expanded in July when he was named MVP at the Elite 11 finals in Frisco, Texas, the prestigious quarterback competition for incoming high school seniors across the country. He followed that with a fast start this season.

Through six games, Stroud has thrown for 1,839 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions, completing 66.2 percent of his passes.

Rancho Cucamonga coach Mark Verti said Stroud has a good mix of accuracy and arm strength.

“He sees the openings,” Verti said, “and knows how to throw the ball there.”

Stroud also might have room for development. On his 247Sports page, he's listed at 6 feet 4 and 192 pounds. Verti expects him to fill out his frame in a college weightlifting program.

Stroud had played basketball at the school, helping Rancho Cucamonga reach the California Interscholastic Federation Southern California Division II Regional final in March.