COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — This time last year Ohio State Ryan Day had not yet named the Buckeyes starting quarterback for the season.

But this season, there’s no doubt C.J. Stroud is the leader of OSU’s offense after breaking the school’s single-season records for completion percentage, passer rating and pass yards per game.

In his redshirt freshman year, Ohio State ranked No. 1 in total offense and No. 1 in scoring offense.
The Buckeyes have a chance to be even better this year because Stroud could be even better.

“For this year I feel like I’m just managing the game better and taking what the defense gives me,” Stroud said. “If it’s not there [I’m] going through my reads, through my progression and finding the check down if need be or running with my feet for the check down, so the game’s kind of been slower for me.”

An 11-2 season capped off by a Rose Bowl win would be considered a successful season for most teams but it’s not up to the standard at Ohio State. Stroud was asked what he thinks OSU has to prove this season after losing to Michigan and not making the College Football Playoff.

“I ain’t got nothing to prove to nobody. We don’t have nothing to prove to anybody,” Stroud said. “Kudos to [Oregon and Michigan]. They beat us fair and square but I feel like we beat ourselves at the same time, so if Ohio State shows up Ohio State I definitely think we’re tough to beat.”

One thing that won’t change is his presence. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said Stroud is the most vocal player to come through Ohio State in years, which is one reason he was named one of six captains this year.

“I’ve been vocal since I was a child so I think I’m outgoing. I never had an issue of speaking my peace or holding other people accountable, including myself,” he said. “I’ve always felt I’m a natural-born leader and I feel like I can relate to a lot of people in different situations and that’s what I’m going to keep doing. Keep being myself, keep being unapologetically me and just understand my role and my responsibility at Ohio State, which is to be the captain of the team and be a leader.”