Videos by OutKick
CJ Stroud is projected to be one of the first two quarterbacks selected in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Ohio State quarterback chose not to return to Columbus for his fourth year of eligibility, despite rumors that he might, and will turn pro after three seasons.
Stroud, a four-star prospect in the Class of 2020, took over as the starter for the Buckeyes in 2021 and led them to an 11-2 season with a Rose Bowl win. He followed it up with another 11-2 season in 2022, but lost in the Peach Bowl.
Although Stroud continued to show why he will be successful in the NFL, his second year at the helm was not quite as strong as his first. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound dual-threat quarterback completed 5% less of his passes for about 800 less yards and three less touchdowns.
It was still a fantastic year for Stroud, but his numbers fell just short of 2021. And, as with anything, there are always people who will focus solely on the negative, like a loss to Michigan, instead of looking at the entire picture.
To avoid dealing with those people, like many before him, Stroud deleted all of his social media prior to the season. He was not on Twitter, he was not on Instagram and he was not on TikTok. It was all ball, all of the time.
The lack of social media did not stop Stroud’s haters and frustrated fans from finding a way to reach him.
CJ Stroud haters got creative.
During a recent conversation with Jim Rome, Stroud revealed that people were harassing him on Venmo. They found his profile, sent him a small amount of money, and included their criticism in the description of the payment.
For me and my teammates, man, being at Ohio State, if you have any source of social media or type of technology, Ohio State fans have it. So, man, I was getting DMs—I don’t have social media throughout the season—I was getting DMs on Venmo, the money app, from fans telling me, ‘Play better,’ things like that.— CJ Stroud on his haters
CJ Stroud is not concerned about money, between NIL and the paycheck to come, but getting paid for people to say mean things is not the worst way to deal with disapproval. The lengths that fans will go to say their piece is both impressive and frightening. College football is a totally normal sport!