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Less than two weeks from the season opener, Ohio State has ended their quarterback competition. Head coach Ryan Day announced that redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud will start the season as the Buckeyes’ top signal caller. Stroud’s first career start will come September 2nd, when Ohio State visits Minnesota.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 21, 2021
Stroud takes over for Justin Fields who went 20-2 over two seasons in Columbus, before being drafted by the Bears with the 11th pick in April’s NFL draft. Stroud was in a months-long quarterback competition with highly regarded gun slingers Jack Miller, Kyle McCord and recently enrolled super-recruit Quinn Ewers.
Upon handing Stroud the keys to the Buckeye offense, Day addressed the media: “He will work hard over the weekend and then into next week start to prepare for Minnesota. I thought over the body of work between the spring and also through the preseason he separated himself with his decision-making, his leadership skills, his accuracy. Now we’ve got to prepare him to play a game.”
Day cautioned that Stroud has been awarded an opportunity and the work is just beginning: “I think he knows that this is an opportunity. It’s not an accomplishment, it’s an opportunity. I think he looked at it like that. Now we’ve got to go about the business of putting it on the field.”
As a true freshman, the 6’3 Stroud played in three games last fall as Fields’ backup, but did not attempt a pass. He did score on a 48-yard scamper versus Michigan State.
Stroud’s lack of game experience presents a unique and unfamiliar situation for the Buckeyes’ quarterback room. Along with Stroud: Miller, McCord and Ewers have also not attempted a collegiate pass.
FanDuel Sportsbook currently lists Ohio State as a 13.5 point road-favorite for Stroud’s debut.