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Is C.J. Stroud staying at Ohio State for another year?

CJ Stroud

(Image by Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch)

Is C.J. Stroud staying at Ohio State for another year?

Yes, I know you are reading this title and probably think it’s crazy. And listen, about a week ago, I would have totally agreed with you. But the fact is, C.J. Stroud has less than two full days to declare for the NFL Draft and he’s yet to do so. As a result, speculation is swirling surrounding a potential return to Ohio State.

Do I think Stroud is saying another year? Absolutely not, he would be crazy to, and for a couple of different reasons.

There are talks about him staying due to a large NIL deal potentially in the works. While I think that is great for him, there is no way it will get him more money than being a top-three pick.

The NIL deal is rumored to be worth around $4 million, on top of the other NIL deals he’s made in the past. That is certainly not a small amount of money, it’s still well off the money he would make as a top-three pick, which leads me to my next reason as to why he shouldn’t stay.

The quarterback class this year is relatively weak; you have Stroud and Bryce Young at the top but the drop-off after that is pretty significant. Next year, however, the quarterback class will be loaded with the likes of Caleb Williams and Joe Milton potentially declaring next year.

It’s not certain he won’t be a top pick if he stays, though. Stroud could come back and have another Heisman-esque season to hold his stock as a top quarterback. But the thing is, there is no reason to do that. You are already a certain top pick, and there is no need to risk that stock by staying another year.

Again, I don’t think Stroud is going to stay. My guess is that he’s just waiting to make a decision so that people, like me, will talk about him. He would certainly be crazy in my opinion to stay another year, but hey, it’s his career.

All I know is I wouldn’t ever be able to simply “turn down” that kind of money. I’m sure Stroud has a plan, plus he and his team likely know what they are doing. I just hope the kid ends up making the right decision.

You can always go back and finish school, but you really only have one chance to make the NFL, and for C.J. Stroud, that time is now.


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