COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — C.J. Stroud spoke with the media on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since being named a Heisman finalist.
“I never knew it would be like this for me” Stroud said. “I’m truly blessed. I love my teammates to death. Without them I wouldn’t be there.”
The other three finalists are Alabama’s Bryce Young, Michigan’s Aiden Hutchinson, and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett. The ceremony will be this Saturday at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square, New York City.
In his first year, Stroud had four games of 400 or more passing yards, including passing for 432 yards in the home finale against Michigan State, throwing for a record-tying six touchdowns.
Last week, Stroud swept three major Big Ten Conference awards: the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, and the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year. It’s the first time in Big Ten history one player has won all three awards.
Stroud, a Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., native who hadn’t thrown a collegiate pass before this season, has led arguably the best offense in the nation with Ohio State No. 1 nationally in total offense (551.4 yards per game) and scoring offense (45.5 ppg), and No. 5 in passing offense (364.9 ypg).
Individually, Stroud currently has the best Ohio State single-season marks for passing efficiency (182.2), completion pct. (70.9) and passing yards per game (351.1). His 3,862 passing yards ranks second in school history and his 38 touchdown passes rank third.
Stroud is the eighth Heisman Trophy finalist from Ohio State since 1982 and fourth in the last four years. The others were Keith Byers (1984), Eddie George (1995), Orlando Pace (1996), Troy Smith (2006), Dwayne Haskins (2018), Justin Fields (2019), and Chase Young (2019).
The Buckeyes freshman quarterback said he has never been to New York and is excited to meet the other finalists at the presentation in Lincoln Center.
This year’s Heisman Trophy presentation will be aired on ESPN at 8 p.m. on Dec. 11.