Former Ohio State Quarterback C.J. Stroud Named 2023 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

By Dan Hope on February 8, 2024 at 9:17 pm
C.J. Stroud
Katie Stratman – USA TODAY Sports

A former Ohio State player is the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for the second year in a row.

C.J. Stroud became the second straight Buckeye to win the award – joining Garrett Wilson – when he was officially named the league’s top offensive rookie during Thursday night’s NFL Honors.

In his award acceptance speech, Stroud gave thanks to Ohio State – specifically head coach Ryan Day and offensive analyst Todd Fitch – for helping him get to where he is now.

“I want to thank Ohio State, Coach Day, Todd Fitch and a ton of Buckeyes out here that have gave me nothing but support and shown a young kid some love all the way 2,000 miles away from home,” Stroud said.

Stroud was the clear choice to win the award after he had one of the best seasons ever for an NFL rookie quarterback. He threw for the third-most passing yards ever (4,108) by a first-year NFL quarterback while leading the Houston Texans to a 10-7 record and an AFC South title just one year after the Texans won only three games.

The former Ohio State quarterback led the NFL in passing yards per game (273.5) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (23:5) and broke the record for the most passing attempts without an interception to start an NFL career (191). He broke the single-game record for passing yards by a rookie quarterback (470) and tied the single-game record for passing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback (five) in a 39-37 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which he led a game-winning touchdown drive.

Stroud also led the Texans to a 45-14 win over the Cleveland Browns in his playoff debut, throwing for 274 yards and tying a rookie record with three passing touchdowns in his first postseason game, before his rookie year ended with a divisional round loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Stroud received all but two of the 50 first-place votes for the award, with the other two going to Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua, who broke the NFL rookie records for receptions and receiving yards.

Stroud becomes the fourth Buckeye all-time to win the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, joining Wilson (2022), Eddie George (1996) and John Brockington (1971). He's the first Ohio State quarterback to take home the honor.

He becomes the sixth Buckeye in the last eight years to win an AP Rookie of the Year award on either side of the ball. Ohio State had a run of four AP NFL Defensive Rookies of the Year in five years when Joey Bosa won the award in 2016, Marshon Lattimore won the award in 2017, Nick Bosa won the award in 2019 and Chase Young won the award in 2020.

With Thursday night’s win, Stroud swept all of the major NFL rookie of the year awards he was eligible for as he also won the Pro Football Writers of America’s NFL Rookie of the Year award as well as the Pepsi Rookie of the Year award, which was voted on by NFL fans.

Stroud also received four fifth-place votes for NFL MVP, which was awarded to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

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