Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud announced Monday that he will forego his remaining eligibility to enter the 2023 NFL draught.
Stroud is expected to be among the top overall picks, and he could be the first Buckeyes quarterback selected since Art Schlichter in 1982.
“This has been a difficult process, and the decision has been one of the most difficult I’ve ever had to make,” Stroud said in his announcement. “I dreamed of playing professional football as a kid, and after much prayer, I’ve decided it’s time to make those dreams a reality.
“That being said, I am declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft.
“This isn’t the end… Buckeye For Life!”
In his two seasons as a starter, Stroud completed 69.3% of his passes for 8,123 yards, 85 touchdowns, and only 12 interceptions. His total yardage and touchdowns thrown rank second only to J.T. Barrett, who played four years at Ohio State.
He finished his career with what was possibly his best game. In Ohio State’s 42-41 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Stroud threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns. In the final minute, his 27-yard scramble put the Buckeyes in field-goal range, but they missed the kick, ending their season.
As a recruit from Rancho Cucamonga, California, Stroud was a late bloomer. He did not begin playing until his junior year of high school and did not emerge as a top prospect until he won the Elite 11 competition. Despite having an earlier commitment from quarterback Jack Miller, he signed to join Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class.
Last year, Stroud won a competition with Miller and true freshman Kyle McCord. Despite dealing with a shoulder injury last year, he had a fantastic season. He threw 44 touchdowns and only six interceptions this season, capping it off with a brilliant performance in Ohio State’s comeback win over Utah. He threw for six touchdowns and 573 yards, the majority of which went to receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Smith-Njigba appeared in only three games this season, but Stroud thrived as he formed strong bonds with Emeka Egbuka and, in particular, Marvin Harrison Jr.