Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has been named to the preseason watchlist for the Davey O’Brien Award, given annually to the top quarterback in college football.
Expectations are high for Stroud coming off his redshirt freshman campaign in which he threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns while completing 71.9 percent of his passes, leading Ohio State to an 11-2 record and a comeback win in the Rose Bowl.
He is joined by 34 other quarterbacks on the preseason watch list, including Alabama’s Bryce Young, Georgia’s Steson Bennett, Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa, Michigan State’s Payton Thorne, Penn State’s Sean Clifford, Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell and USC’s Caleb Williams, among others. All 10 FBS conference are represented, and the SEC leads the way with seven honorees.
Stroud was not on last year’s preseason watch list, but found his way on to the midseason watchlist and was eventually named a finalist before being beat out by Young, who was also named Hesiman last season. If Stroud were to take home the award this season, he would be just the second Ohio State player to do so, joining Troy Smith in 2006.
Along with the Davey O’Brien Award, Stroud is also on the watchlist for the Maxwell Award, given annually to the top college football player in the country, and is expected to be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy for the second consecutive season.
A midseason watchlist will be revealed on Oct. 18, with the group eventual cut down to a top three by Nov. 21. The winner will then be unveiled on ESPN on Dec. 8.