COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — C.J. Stroud has spent countless hours throwing inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. But he’ll remember this half hour in late March tossing to his former Buckeye teammates during a live audition to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Carolina owns the top pick in the draft and Stroud showed off his skills with Panthers head coach Frank Reich filming on his phone just a few feet away.

“It’s been great. Of course you’ve got to find beauty in the struggle,” Stroud said. “It’s not always easy to have everybody in your business all the time but at the end of the day it’s a blessing cause I’ve been dreaming about doing this my whole life.”

Stroud is nearly a month away from potentially being the first Buckeye quarterback taken No. 1.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a very, very long time. My dad used to make me wear a first round draft pick, first pick in the draft shirt,” Stroud said with a smile. “He set that foundation early on and definitely want to accomplish that but if not I just want to go to whoever loves me.”

Stroud said he’ll spend the next month before the draft doing private workouts and more interviews.

“What’s special about this is I can control what I can control on the field,” he said. “I don’t gotta make the decision right now, so it’s not like me coming to Ohio State. The decision isn’t on me, so I get to just chill and do what I love to do.”