C.J. Stroud feels Ohio State football would win game against OSU men's basketball

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

C.J. Stroud sounds like he wants to set up a matchup between Ohio State football and the Buckeyes' men's basketball team.

To be clear, on the basketball court. 

"I honestly think that if we played ... it would be close," the Ohio State quarterback said at Big Ten media days. "I think we would win." 

After starting out by talking about the toughness of his offensive line heading into the 2022 season and the development of players like Paris Johnson Jr. and Donovan Jackson, Stroud drifted into a discussion of Dawand Jones, the Buckeyes' projected starter at right tackle heading into the 2022 season opener. 

Jones, a 6-foot-8, 350-pound offensive lineman out of Indianapolis, is a player Stroud continues to be floored by. 

"I love Dawand, man. He's the biggest kid you'll know, but he's a great dude. One of the best athletes I have ever met in my life," Stroud said. "He could play basketball, but his ability, his footwork and his ability to use his size not against him, but for him, it's been amazing just to see (him defy) the laws of gravity, you know what I mean?" 

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Stroud called Jones the "most polished basketball player" on the Ohio State football team, little surprise considering Jones averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game at Ben Davis High School, earning several Division I offers in the process. 

Who would be on C.J. Stroud's basketball team? 

But Stroud declared himself OSU football's best shooter and then began to fill out the rest of his starting roster. 

"The best basketball all around? I would say Cade Stover or Josh Proctor, but I can play with them boys," Stroud said. "They will tell you that." 

Stroud said being a multi-sport athlete is helpful, going so far as to explain he uses some of the movements he unleashed on the court now on the gridiron. 

Jones is not the only player on Ohio State's roster who has a significant basketball background. 

Defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau played guard, forward and center for Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington, averaging 11.1 points per game, while finishing his pandemic-shortened senior season with 18 points per game. 

Pickerington Central’s Devin Royal (21) embraces teammate Sonny Styles (24) as they walk off the court with teammates Gavin Headings (30) and Andrew Hedgepeth (10) following their 59-42 win against the Gahanna Lincoln Lions during a OHSAA Boys' Basketball regional final at Ohio Dominican University Alumni Hall.

Incoming Ohio State safety Sonny Styles helped Pickerington Central High School to a state hoops title last season, starting alongside Devin Royal, who is a major target for the Ohio State men's basketball team in the 2023 class. 

While Stroud probably won't get his proposed game, he manage to salute one of his friends on Chris Holtmann's team before he moved on. 

"Shoutout to my boy Justice (Sueing) by the way," Stroud said. 

cgay@dispatch.com 

@_ColinGay

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