The hierarchy of Ohio State quarterbacks to come out of Columbus and into the NFL in recent years has grown plentiful with Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields, and soon-to-be, C.J. Stroud coming into the league out of Ryan Day’s offense. With the Buckeyes playing in the College Football Playoff against Georgia Saturday night, it is an opportunity for Stroud to enhance his draft stock even more.
However, the brotherhood that Ohio State quarterbacks built over the years took a hit earlier this year with the passing of Haskins in April in a car accident in Florida. Ohio State honored Haskins throughout the year, as did the Steelers, who are wearing No. 3 stickers on their helmets all season.
However, for Stroud, he hopes to be able to put on a legacy game on Saturday that could make Ohio State quarterbacks and Haskins himself proud. He wears Haskins’ No. 7 for the Buckeyes, honoring a person he knew closely. Now, on a big stage in college football, Stroud hopes to do it once again.
“Dwayne has done a great job in his career,” Stroud said. “RIP to him. It’s actually been hard for me kind of just seeing pictures of him and things like that. It’s sad just to see somebody so young with the rest of his life ahead of him lose his life like that.”
While the situation is tragic, Stroud has tried to honor Haskins and the Ohio State fraternity throughout the year. That standard, especially one of Black quarterbacks, has made Stroud proud to wear the No. 7 throughout his career, but especially the 2022 season.
“I know Dwayne was a great person, not only a football player but did great things in this community and for the people that he loved,” Stroud said. “It felt good to be able to wear his jersey in the spring game and try to live his legacy on. I’ve really tried to honor him this year as much as I could because that’s something I try to take serious is trying to hold up the people who passed away the past few years.”
The Buckeyes will take on the Georgia Bulldogs as they play for a spot in the National Championship game. Stroud will try to lead Ohio State to that mountain top against the top-ranked team in the nation.