Stroud named a Heisman finalist


For the third time in four years, Ohio State will be represented at the Heisman Trophy ceremony as redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud has been named a finalist for college football’s most prestigious individual award.

Stroud will be joined by Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, and Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy presentation is held annually in New York City and will be aired on ESPN at 8 p.m. this Saturday.

Stroud, in his first season as a starter, threw for 3,862 yards, which ranks second in Ohio State history for a single season. His 38 touchdown passes rank third in the program’s single-season record books. Currently, Stroud’s marks in passing efficiency, completion percentage, and yards per game are all on pace to break Ohio State’s single-season records with one game remaining.

Nationally, Stroud ranks third among all power-five quarterbacks in touchdown passes, trailing only Young and Pickett while playing in two fewer games. Stroud is sixth nationally in passing yards, and his 182.23 passing efficiency is the best mark of all power-five college quarterbacks.

With a plethora of weapons at his disposal, putting up prolific numbers became a weekly routine for Stroud throughout the season. The California native threw for at least 260 yards in all but one of his starts, and he topped 400 yards four times. His six touchdown passes against Michigan State on Nov. 20 tied the Ohio State single-game record.

Stroud’s invite to the Heisman ceremony continues an impressive trend for Ohio State, particularly at the quarterback position. Stroud is now the third consecutive Buckeye starting quarterback to be named a finalist, joining Dwayne Haskins (2018) and Justin Fields (2019), and the fourth finalist overall in the past four seasons (Chase Young, 2019). Overall, he is the 13th Heisman finalist in school history.

While Stroud is unlikely to take home the famous statue, award season has already been kind to him. Last week, he was named the recipient of the Big Ten’s Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year Award, the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year Award, and the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year Award. Stroud is the first quarterback in Big Ten history to win all three awards in the same season.

Stroud is also a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, given annually to the nation’s top quarterback, and the Manning Award, which is given to the best collegiate quarterback as judged by the Sugar Bowl Committee.

If Stroud were to win the Heisman, it would be the eighth time an Ohio State player has taken home the award. Les Horvath (1944), Vic Janowicz (1950), Howard “Hopalong” Cassady (1955), Archie Griffin (1974, 1975), Eddie George (1995), and Troy Smith (2006) represent Ohio State’s storied history with the award.

Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud throws a pass during a 56-7 victory over Michigan State on Nov. 20 in Columbus. State redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud throws a pass during a 56-7 victory over Michigan State on Nov. 20 in Columbus. Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

By Dillon Davis

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Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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