Desmond Howard Doesn’t Get C.J. Stroud Heisman Hype

Desmond Howard, a Michigan man, can’t understand why Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud is being hyped as one of the favorites to win college football’s Heisman trophy.

Shocker, right?

Stroud, OSU’s sophomore quarterback, was an All-Big Ten selection and passed for more than 4,400 yards last fall. Despite Stroud’s gaudy statistics — Rose Bowl passing records for yards (573) and touchdowns (6) — and near universal praise, Desmond Howard just can’t seem to get the hype.

“I don’t think that anybody should be the frontrunner except (Alabama QB) Bryce Young because he’s the returning winner of the Heisman,” Howard recently told ESPN’s College Football Live. “I don’t think that C.J. Stroud or anybody else should be even neck-and-neck right now with Bryce Young.”

September 05, 2015: Desmond Howard during the ESPN College GameDay built by The Home Depot at Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Green/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Howard, the 1991 Heisman winner, offers praise to Buckeyes with the same frequency as Rory McIlroy does LIV golfers. Not often.

In other words, Desmond’s comments shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

C.J. Stroud
COLUMBUS, OHIO – NOVEMBER 20: C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a first half touchdown pass behind Maverick Hansen #97 of the Michigan State Spartans during the first half at Ohio Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images).

In what would seem to be a strange way to argue against C.J. Stroud’s Heisman prospects, Howard referenced Ohio State’s “marquee game.” Which just so happens to be college football’s biggest non-conference game of the year.

“When you look at C.J. Stroud, he’s going to have some big games. He opens up the season against Notre Dame. That’s a marquee matchup,” Howard said. “But just at the beginning, when no games are played, for him to be the favorite, I just don’t get it. I believe Bryce Young to be the frontrunner and everybody else should be starting at the finish line at the same point.”

Stroud’s September Date With Notre Dame Is Pricey

That beginning game should go a long way for both Stroud and the Buckeyes. And even if Desmond Howard isn’t watching, plenty of others will be. As OutKick previously detailed, tickets for the Irish-Buckeyes showdown were recently selling for more than $475 each.

When the Fighting Irish visit Columbus (September 3rd), most experts expect Stroud to pick up where he left off last season – throwing for 44 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. An as-expected showing would further cement Stroud’s early season Heisman candidacy.

For anyone other than Desmond Howard, that is.

“He’s going to have some marquee games to be able to catch Bryce Young,” Howard added. “But I think Bryce Young right now, for me, as a former winner and a guy who’s a voter, is Bryce Young against the field.”

Sorry, Desmond. The hype is real, and it’s spectacular.

Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

Written by Anthony Farris


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  1. Howard has never been the sharpest tool in the shed…just a tool. That’s why I can’t stand when any of these college mouthpieces announce a game their alma mater is playing. They might start out as neutral as possible, but every time, when the game starts to get tight, their school loyalty starts to come out and it’s nauseating to listen to their extreme bias.

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