In the weeks leading up to Ohio State’s 2021 season opener against Minnesota, the Buckeyes made a surprise addition to the roster.
Quinn Ewers, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2022 class, opted to reclassify into the 2021 class and join the Buckeyes a year early, with potential name, image and likeness reasons looming over the decision. Ewers’ early introduction to Ohio State came at a strange time in the Buckeyes’ quarterbacks room as C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller III and Kyle McCord were engaged in a competition for the starting job, even though none of them had attempted a collegiate pass to that point.
At the time, it appeared Stroud was the clear frontrunner for the job and was well on his way to making his first career start against the Golden Gophers on Sept. 2, 2021. Even though Stroud ultimately claimed the starting job, which he held and excelled in for a pair of seasons, while Ewers stayed at Ohio State for only one season before transferring to Texas, Stroud said during an appearance on The Shop that Ewers’ early arrival rubbed him the wrong way.
“They brought somebody else in, Quinn Ewers, the Texas quarterback. He was the No. 1 player, I think ever ranked in high school,” Stroud said. “They brought him in a week into fall camp, which is training camp for us, and I kind of felt disrespected.”
Stroud added that Ohio State’s staff told him that Ewers was coming in early on “the day he came.”
Ewers ultimately never factored into any quarterback competition at Ohio State and wound up as the fourth quarterback on the depth chart in his lone season with the Buckeyes. He only received a pair of snaps in the scarlet and gray, both handoffs, during the closing moments of Ohio State’s 56-7 win over Michigan State on Nov. 20, 2021.
Although Ewers’ untimely arrival rubbed Stroud the wrong way, he said he learned that nothing was given to him at the college level by the ordeal.
“Everything I have done in my life has been earned, never given,” Stroud said. “I pride myself on that. I think that’s why I have a chip on my shoulder a little bit. I have that dog in me because I know I’ve been counted out multiple times.
“They brought in a guy two weeks before our first game and I thought I was the guy,” he added. “That just shows you that it’s a business at the end of the day.”
Stroud, obviously, left his mark at Ohio State during his time in the program, winning a pair of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Awards and finishing as a Heisman Trophy finalist twice in his two seasons as the starter.