C. J. Stroud
refer to caption
Stroud in 2023
No. 7 – Houston Texans
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (2001-10-03) October 3, 2001 (age 22)
Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Rancho Cucamonga
College:Ohio State (2020–2022)
NFL Draft:2023 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
  • Passing yards in a game by a rookie: 470
  • Passing touchdowns in a game by a rookie: 5 (tied)
  • Most passes without an interception to start a career: 191
  • Youngest starting quarterback to win a playoff game: 22 years 3 months 10 days[1]
  • Passing touchdowns in a playoff game by a rookie: 3 (tied)[1]
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2023
Passing attempts:499
Passing completions:319
Completion percentage:63.9%
TDINT:23–5
Passing yards:4,108
Passer rating:100.8
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Coleridge Bernard "C. J." Stroud IV (born October 3, 2001) is an American football quarterback for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State, where he holds several school records, including most passing yards in a single game with 573, as well as being the first player to throw for six touchdowns three times. Stroud was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2021 and 2022 and was selected by the Texans second overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, where he set multiple rookie and playoff records en route to the Texans' first division title and playoff victory since 2019.

Early years

Stroud was born on October 3, 2001, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, the youngest of four children.[2][3] In 2016, his father, Coleridge Bernard Stroud III, received a 38-years-to-life sentence after pleading guilty to kidnapping, carjacking and robbery in connection with a drug-related incident under California's three-strikes law.[4] As of 2023, his father has been incarcerated since Stroud was in middle school,[3][5] and is serving his sentence in Folsom State Prison near Sacramento. The incarceration sent the Stroud family into severe financial debt; they lived in a small apartment above a storage facility as Stroud entered Rancho Cucamonga High School.[6][7][8]

As a senior, he was the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin offensive player of the year after passing for 3,878 yards and 47 touchdowns.[9] In 2019, he was the MVP of the Elite 11.[10] Stroud was selected to play in the 2020 All-American Bowl.[11] Initially considered a 3-star recruit, Stroud finished high school as the third-highest rated quarterback of his class.[12][13] He committed to Ohio State University to play college football.[14][15][16]

Stroud has been friends with Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young since the two went to high schools located in Southern California. The two continued their friendship in college, and ultimately were selected with the first two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.[17]

College career

2020 season

See also: 2020 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Stroud spent his true freshman year at Ohio State redshirting as a backup to Justin Fields.[18][19] He played just eight snaps in 2020, throwing no passes, but did score a 48-yard rushing touchdown against Michigan State.[20] He also played one snap in the 2021 Sugar Bowl against Clemson after Fields took a hard hit to the ribs.[21]

2021 season

See also: 2021 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Stroud was named the starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman following the departure of Fields to the 2021 NFL Draft. He was chosen over freshmen Kyle McCord, Quinn Ewers, and fellow redshirt freshman Jack Miller III. Coach Ryan Day credited his decision-making, leadership skills, and accuracy as the reasons that he earned the starting spot.[22]

Stroud started every game for the Buckeyes aside from a Week 4 game against Akron in order to rest a shoulder injury he sustained in the season opener.[23] Over the season, he earned first-team All-Big Ten Honors; was named the Big 10 quarterback of the year; won Big Ten Freshman of the Week six times; was a finalist for both the Davey O'Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy; and became the only quarterback in Ohio State history to throw five touchdowns against a Big Ten competitor four times in one season.[24] He led the team to a 10–2 record in the regular season, with losses to Oregon and bitter rival Michigan.[25] The loss to Michigan cost Ohio State the chance to play in the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State bounced back from this disappointment at the Rose Bowl; coming back from a 14-point deficit against Utah to win 48–45. Stroud broke both school and Rose Bowl records with 573 yards thrown in the Rose Bowl; he also tied a school record and set a Rose Bowl record with six touchdown passes.[26] He finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting.[27]

2022 season

See also: 2022 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Stroud against Michigan in 2022.

Following a successful 2021 season, Stroud entered 2022 as one of the best players in college football, as well as the betting favorite to win the Heisman trophy.[28][29] On October 8, 2022, Stroud threw six touchdown passes against Michigan State, setting a conference record for “most six passing touchdown games in a career” (with 3), and passed Justin Fields to move to second place on the Ohio State career passing touchdowns list.[30][31] Stroud and the Buckeyes once again came up short against rival Michigan in their annual meeting, this time losing at home in Columbus 45–23.[32] Despite the loss, the Buckeyes were selected as the fourth and final team for the College Football Playoff.[33] In the Peach Bowl semifinal against the top-seeded Georgia Bulldogs, Stroud had a strong performance, throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns, but the Buckeyes lost 42–41, ending their season.[34] At the conclusion of the regular season, he again was named a finalist for the Heisman trophy for his season. He finished third in the voting behind winner Caleb Williams from USC and Max Duggan from TCU.[35] On January 16, 2023, Stroud announced that he would forgo his remaining two years of college eligibility and enter the 2023 NFL Draft.[36]

College statistics

Ohio State Buckeyes
Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2020 3 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 1 48 48.0 1
2021 12 12 10–2 317 441 71.9 4,435 10.1 44 6 186.6 32 −20 −0.6 0
2022 13 13 11–2 258 389 66.3 3,688 9.5 41 6 177.7 47 108 2.3 0
Career 28 25 21–4 575 830 69.3 8,123 9.8 85 12 182.4 80 136 1.7 1

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
6 ft 3 in
(1.91 m)
214 lb
(97 kg)
32+58 in
(0.83 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
All values from the NFL Combine[37][38]

Stroud was selected by the Houston Texans with the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27, 2023.[39] Being second overall, Stroud became the highest drafted quarterback in Ohio State's history.[40]

On September 10, 2023, Stroud made his NFL debut in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, where he threw for 242 yards in the 25–9 loss.[41] During Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts, Stroud threw his first two NFL touchdowns, one to Nico Collins and the other to Tank Dell, and finished with 384 passing yards in the 31–20 loss. Stroud's 384 yards are the second-most in a single game by a Texans rookie quarterback.[42] The following week, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Stroud finished 20-of-30 for 280 yards with two touchdowns as the Texans won 37–17.[43] He also joined Cam Newton and Justin Herbert as the only players in NFL history to put up at least 900 passing yards in their first three games.[44] Stroud was named the Offensive Rookie of the Month for September, finishing the month with 78 completions on 121 attempts with 906 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.[45]

In Week 5, Stroud threw his 177th pass attempt without an interception, breaking the previous NFL record set by Dak Prescott for the most pass attempts without an interception to begin a career in NFL history in a 21–19 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.[46] The streak ended the following week against the New Orleans Saints at 191 attempts; Saints linebacker Zack Baun intercepted the pass but had the ball punched out by wide receiver Nico Collins with offensive tackle Tytus Howard recovering the ball for the Texans.[47] In Week 8, Stroud faced his friend and fellow top draft pick Bryce Young for the first time in the NFL. Young came out on top in a defensive battle, 15–13. Stroud threw for 140 yards and had his first rushing touchdown in the loss.[48] In Week 9, Stroud passed for 470 yards, breaking the single-game passing yard record for a rookie quarterback that was previously set by Andrew Luck in 2012. Stroud also passed for five touchdowns, during a 39–37 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[49] The game also marked just the third time in NFL history a quarterback has thrown for at least 470 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions, joining Y.A. Tittle and Ben Roethlisberger.[50]

In Week 14 against the New York Jets, Stroud suffered a concussion during the fourth quarter as the Texans lost 30–6.[51] After a two-game absence, Stroud made his return in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans, completing 24 of 32 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown in a 26–3 victory.[52] In a win-or-go-home situation against the Colts, Stroud completed 20 of 26 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns in a 23–19 win, clinching the Texans' first playoff berth since 2019.[53] During this game, Stroud became just the fifth quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards in their rookie season.[54] Stroud also became the third player in league history to lead the league in passing yards per game (273.9) and touchdown/interception ratio (4.6) in the same season, joining Tom Brady in 2007 and Joe Montana in 1989.[55]

In his playoff debut against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round, Stroud tied the rookie record for most passing touchdowns in a playoff game and became the youngest quarterback to win a playoff game in league history as the Texans won 45–14.[56] Stroud finished the game completing 16 of 21 passes for 274 yards, three touchdowns, and a near-perfect passer rating of 157.2.[57] In the Divisional round against the top-seeded Ravens, Stroud was held in check, completing 19 of 33 passes for 175 yards and a 72.2 rating as the Texans lost, 34–10.[58]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacks Fumbles
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Y/G Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg Lng TD Sck SckY Fum Lost
2023 HOU 15 15 9–6 319 499 63.9 4,108 8.2 273.9 75 23 5 100.8 39 167 4.3 16 3 38 331 8 4
Career 15 15 9–6 319 499 63.9 4,108 8.2 273.9 75 23 5 100.8 39 167 4.3 16 3 38 331 8 4

Postseason

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacks Fumbles
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Y/G Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg Lng TD Sck SckY Fum Lost
2023 HOU 2 2 1–1 35 54 64.8 449 8.3 224.5 76 3 0 109.3 4 10 2.5 7 0 0 0 0 0
Career 2 2 1–1 35 54 64.8 449 8.3 224.5 76 3 0 109.3 4 10 2.5 7 0 0 0 0 0

NFL records

Texans franchise records

Personal life

Stroud is the son of Coleridge and Kimberly Stroud. He has two older brothers and one older sister.[62] He is a Christian.[63]

References

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