CJ Stroud makes it to the highest 20 of PFF’s 2021 school soccer quarterback rankings
CJ Stroud has never thrown a ball as a college football player. In fact, he hasn’t even been named Ohio State’s starting quarterback yet. But he’s already mentioned in the same conversation with some of the best and most trusted quarterbacks in the country.
On Monday, Pro Football Focus released its preseason ranking of all 130 prospective quarterbacks in the country. These rankings used PFF’s play-by-play rating system and other data points, as well as movie and schema ratings.
Despite having only played eight college snaps, Stroud checks in at number 20 on the PFF rankings. The Buckeye signal caller is a tier 2 PFF described as “high-ceiling quarterbacks”. All but one of Oklahoma’s top 23 quarterbacks, Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, who is alone in the elite tier, fall under the same tier as Stroud.
This is what PFF’s Anthony Treash wrote about Stroud:
Stroud has a wide range of results considering he hasn’t fallen behind at the college level. He will be in a good position, however, and appears to have the qualities to achieve immense success as the Buckeyes quarterback.
The 2020 top 50 recruit and # 2 pro-style quarterbacks in class will be following in the footsteps of Justin Fields, who was the most valued player in college football in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, according to 247Sports. It’s a big job, but the tools are there too. He’s proven he has a big arm and can pose a threat on the ground, as demonstrated on his lone carry in 2020 that resulted in a 48 yard touchdown.
As Treash notes, Stroud was one of the top ranked quarterbacks two years ago and also a top 50 player in his recruiting class. As a late bloomer, Stroud quickly caught the attention of many top programs before choosing the Buckeyes for scholarship offers from finalists Georgia and Michigan as well UCLA, USC, Oregon and Baylor.
With the way the 2020 season went, with no non-conference play and few blowouts, Stroud hasn’t had the late game experience a backup quarterback usually does for the Scarlet and Gray. While both he and classmate Jack Miller saw time on the rare occasion for starter Justin Fields to be out of the game, it wasn’t enough for head coach Ryan Day to make a decision about who would be the offseason quarterback.
That spring, Stroud competed with Miller and freshman Kyle McCord. In the annual Spring Game, Stroud had the best performance of the three, completing 16 of his 22 attempts to pass for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Though Day is the perceived starter, Day was unwilling to declare Stroud the winner of the competition emerging from spring training, so Ohio State fans are waiting for official information on who will take the first snapshot behind the mid-2021 season becomes.
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But if the PFF rankings and other predictions about Stroud are correct, the Buckeyes have another good quarterback.