Freshman C.J. Stroud will start at quarterback for No. 4 Ohio State in the season opener against Minnesota, coach Ryan Day said Saturday.
Stroud, who had been the apparent leader in the quarterback derby since spring practice, was chosen over fellow second-year player Jack Miller and true freshmen Kyle McCord and Quinn Ewers.
“Over the body of work between the spring and then also through preseason, (Stroud) separated himself with his decision-making, his leadership skills, his accuracy,” Day said. “Now, we’ve got to go prepare to go play a game.”
Day wouldn’t say who would be next in line.
“The other guys in the room understand that this is a long season and that room has to be strong,” he said. “We know at Ohio State that it takes everybody in that room, so that room needs to continue to work. It’s a long way to January and that’s been the message. The focus has to continue to be about development but also to encourage the other guys in that room.”
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Stroud, from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., played sparingly in mop-up duty last season behind Heisman Trophy-finalist Justin Fields in the pandemic-shortened season. Stroud has yet to throw a pass in a college game.
“He knows this is just an opportunity,” Day said. “It’s not an accomplishment, it’s an opportunity, and I think he looked at it like that. Now we’ve got to go about the business of going to put it on the field.”
The Buckeyes open their season at Minnesota on Sept. 2.