Ohio State QB CJ Stroud makes it official: He's headed to the NFL
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud made official Monday what has been long expected – he will forgo his remaining eligibility to enter the 2023 NFL draft.
Stroud is expected to be among the top overall selections, and perhaps the earliest Buckeyes quarterback to be taken since Art Schlichter went fourth in 1982.
"This process has been difficult, and the decision one of the hardest I've ever had to make," Stroud said in his announcement. "As a kid, I dreamed of paying football at the highest level and after much prayer, I've made the decision that it's time to turn those dreams into a reality.
"With that said, I am declaring for 2023 NFL Draft.
"This ain't goodbye... Buckeye For Life!"
Stroud completed 69.3% of his passes for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his two seasons as a starter. His yardage total and touchdowns thrown rank second behind only J.T. Barrett, who played four years for OSU.
Stroud was named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year the past two seasons.
He finished his career with perhaps his most impressive game. Stroud threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns in Ohio State’s 42-41 loss to Georgia in a College Football Playoff semifinal.
His 27-yard scramble moved the Buckeyes into field-goal range in the final minute, but OSU missed the kick, ending their season.
Stroud was a late bloomer as a recruit from Rancho Cucamonga, California. He didn’t start until his junior year of high school and didn’t emerge as a top prospect until winning the Elite 11 competition. He signed to join OSU’s 2019 recruiting class despite the Buckeyes having an earlier commitment from quarterback Jack Miller.
Stroud won a competition with Miller and true freshman Kyle McCord last year. Despite battling a shoulder injury last year, he had a superb season. He threw for 44 touchdowns and only six interceptions, capping the season with a brilliant performance in OSU’s comeback victory over Utah. He threw for six touchdowns and 573 yards, mostly to receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Smith-Njigba played in parts of only three games this year, but Stroud flourished anyway as he developed a strong connection with Emeka Egbuka and especially Marvin Harrison Jr.
With Stroud off to the NFL, the competition to succeed him between McCord and Devin Brown commences. McCord replaced the injured Stroud for the Akron game in 2021 and was his primary backup in 2022, though he played only in mop-up situations. He completed 16 of 20 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown in six games.
McCord was a five-star prospect at Philadelphia's St. Joseph's Prep, where he was a higher-rated recruit than teammate Marvin Harrison Jr.
Brown saw action in two games as a true freshman in 2022. He did not throw a pass and had one carry for 1 yard against Toledo.