Ohio State star CJ Stroud declares for NFL Draft: ‘Time to turn those dreams into reality’

 

C.J. Stroud on Monday announced his decision to enter the NFL Draft after a stellar career at Ohio State.

Stroud waited a couple of weeks to make the announcement. He and the Buckeyes were eliminated from the College Football Playoff in a close game against Georgia in the semifinal. Georgia would eventually defeat TCU in the national championship.

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C.J. Stroud of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to throw a pass against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio.
(Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

The star quarterback thanked his family, coaches, teammates and everyone on the Ohio State staff for helping him develop into the player he is today. He also said playing in the NFL was a lifelong dream.

“This process has been difficult, and the decision, one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” he said in a statement. “As a kid, I dreamed of playing football at the highest level and after much prayer, I’ve made the decision that it’s time to turn those dreams into reality.”

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Stroud, along with Alabama’s Bryce Young and Kentucky’s Will Levis, is expected to be among the first quarterbacks taken off the board when the draft officially begins.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) gestures during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl college football playoff game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Georgia Bulldogs on December 31, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
(Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He had 3,688 passing yards and 41 touchdown passes in 2022. Ohio State finished 11-2. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist.

In 2021, Stroud finished with 4,435 passing yards, 44 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He played in 26 games over the course of his collegiate career. He appeared in one game in 2020.

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) warms up before the college football playoff semifinal game between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and The Ohio State Buckeyes on December 31, 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
(David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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The Chicago Bears have the No. 1 pick in the draft. They already have an Ohio State alum as their starting quarterback in Justin Fields.