Stroud Gives Gift Cards To Teammates, Day Praises His Leadership

Third-year quarterback C.J. Stroud is making sure his Ohio State teammates look good both on and off the field.

Stroud gave each of his teammates a $500 gift card to Express — a Columbus-based clothing company that is partnered with Stroud through a name, image and likeness deal — in order to buy suits for them to wear ahead of the Buckeyes’ season-opener against Notre Dame.

Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day said Stroud’s gesture is just another example of how he’s carried himself as more of a leader this offseason. Stroud was named a captain on Aug. 13, as a result of a team-wide vote.

“I’ve been impressed with his approach and his maturity,” Day said on Thursday. “That’s just an example of something he wanted to do. No one asked him to do that and he kind of surprised me with it.”

Stroud put up gaudy numbers in his first season as the starter — throwing for over 4,400 yards and 44 touchdowns — and is primed to do so again. As the quarterback, Stroud knows the importance of exuding strong leadership qualities and said that he feels like he’s grown in that area during the offseason.

“If you ask me what a quarterback is, I would say a leader,” Stroud said at Big Ten Media Days. “Leadership is all about trust. If I have trust with my guys, they’ll do anything for me and I can do anything for them.”

As Stroud put his money where his mouth is, literally, in terms of growing as a leader, Day said his quarterback has just exuded the program’s family-like mentality through his gift-giving.

“That’s the brotherhood, that’s what it’s all about,” Day said. “You don’t typically come to Ohio State because of the guys on the team. A lot of the time, you don’t even know who the guys are on the team. But then once you’re here, the reason you play so hard, what motivates you, are your teammates. That goes to show you, in the short period of time, how close this team has become, and C.J. has really become a leader.”