So the Houston Texans just drafted CJ Stroud. Congratulations is in order. Feel free to drool over highlights from the 2021 Rose Bowl. Before you do, it would be nice to get to know your new franchise quarterback. If you’re an Ohio State fan you’re probably intimately familiar with him. Same applies for any other Big 10 school really. Otherwise, you’ve more than likely only seen Stroud play a few times, and may only have known how good he was from afar.
Let’s take some time and meet the face of your franchise.
CJ Stroud’s Pre-College Football Career
CJ Stroud was born October 3, 2001 in Rancho Cucamonga, California. He’s the youngest of four children. I could go over the personal details of Stroud’s family life, but I’m sure you just heard enough of that from the ESPN broadcast of the draft. Stroud attended Rancho Cucamonga High School, where he was a late bloomer as a recruit. Initially, Stroud was only a three-star on each of the major recruiting services, but he would finish his senior year in the top 5 at his position on all four.
Stroud was overloaded with scholarship offers, but took his official visits to Georgia, Michigan, Oregon and Ohio State. By the time the early signing period opened in December of 2019, Stroud had come to a decision. He would commit to and sign with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
CJ Stroud’s College Football Career
Since he signed in the early signing period, Stroud was able to go through some early work before his freshman season, though, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, that would be shortened quite a bit. Stroud spent his freshman year backing up Justin Fields, playing one snap. On that play, Stroud ran for a 48 yard touchdown against Michigan State. That would be a harbinger of things to come.
Stroud won the job the following offseason, beating out current Texas starter Quinn Ewers, projected 2023 Ohio State starter Kyle McCord, and Jack Miller III, who will be competing for the starting job at Florida this fall. Stroud took this accomplishment and never looked back.
As a redshirt freshman he would finish as Big 10 offensive player of the year and a finalist for both the Davey O’Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy, though both would of course go to Bryce Young. He would finish the season with 317 completions on 441 attempts for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
However, the 2021 season was a bit of a let-down from Ohio State’s normalcy of reaching the College Football Playoff, and the Buckeyes would be back looking for more in 2022.
CJ Stroud answered the call in 2022, throwing for 258 completions on 389 attempts for another 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns and again just six interceptions. The Buckeyes finished the regular season 11-1, and improvement. However, again the loss was to Michigan and was back breaking to their national championship hopes. Stroud again was a finalist for the Heisman, but this time it went to Caleb Williams.
Stroud announced he would forego his eligibility and enter the 2023 NFL Draft. He went through all the pre-combine prep. He went through the combine, and all the interviews that follow that. He would visit with teams, leading into his pro day. He completed those workouts, and the interviews that follow it. From there, CJ Stroud sat and waited. Now, he begins his journey as the future of the Texans.
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