Ohio State third-year quarterback and two-time Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud declared for the NFL Draft Monday, making his intentions known via Twitter.
Monday was the deadline for players to enter their names into the 2023 NFL Draft, meaning Ohio State’s signal caller took all the time available to him to make his decision. Per his tweet, it wasn’t one that came easy. His career closed with a rivalry loss against Michigan — he finishes with an 0-2 record in The Game — and heartbreaking 42-41 defeat in the College Football Playoff semifinal against eventual national champion Georgia. The allure of righting those losses may have given Stroud some pause but a top-five projection in the draft was too much to pass on in the end.
“This process has been difficult, and the decision, one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” Stroud said in his tweet. “As a kid, I dreamed of playing 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.”
Stroud finishes second all-time in Ohio State history for career passing yards with 8,123, despite only two years as the Buckeyes’ starter. He also stands second in career touchdowns with 85, behind four-year starter J.T. Barrett in both categories.
His best single-season marks in yards and touchdowns also land second behind late former quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ 2018 campaign, as he became the second quarterback in program history to surpass 4,000 yards through the air in 2021. His 2022 season slots in third for single-season passing yardage as well.
Where Stroud holds the top mark in school history is for passing yards in a single game. He registered the only 500-yard passing performance ever from a Buckeye against Utah in the Rose Bowl following the 2021 season. Stroud racked up 573 yards and six touchdowns in a 48-45 Ohio State win, also tying a school record for passing scores. He equaled that six-touchdown mark two other times in his career, both against Michigan State in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Alongside his two appearances in New York City as a Heisman finalist, Stroud was a consensus second-team All-American in 2022 and third-team All-American in 2021. He was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s best quarterback, both of those seasons.
At the conference level, Stroud won Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in both 2021 and 2022, as well as Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year. He was first-team All-Big Ten both campaigns.