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Ohio State names C.J. Stroud starting quarterback for Week 1

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Ohio State has identified its starting quarterback.

Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day announced Saturday that redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud will get the start in Week 1 against Minnesota. Day said earlier in the week that Stroud had started to separate himself during preseason practice.

“I thought over the body of work between the spring and through preseason, he separated himself with his decision-making, his leadership skills and his accuracy,” Day said Saturday.

After Justin Fields left Ohio State for the NFL, Stroud competed with Jack Miller and Kyle McCord for the starting job. Stroud and Miller both arrived at OSU in the class of 2020 while McCord is a true freshman who enrolled early to participate in spring practice. All three were rated as four-star recruits by Rivals.com with Stroud at No. 51 overall in 2020 and McCord at No. 35 overall in 2021.

The Buckeyes also recently added Quinn Ewers, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2022. Ewers bypassed his senior season of high school and joined the team earlier this week.

FILE - Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud runs through a drill during an NCAA college football practice in Columbus, Ohio, in this Monday, April 5, 2021, file photo. Third-year Ohio State coach Ryan Day opens a preseason camp for the first time without a good idea of who will be the starting quarterback. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)
C.J. Stroud has been named the starting quarterback at Ohio State entering the 2021 season. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

Stroud, a native of Rancho Cucamonga, California, played in three games last year and most notably had a 48-yard touchdown run against Michigan State. Stroud threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns in OSU’s spring game.

The Buckeyes, ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP Top 25, open with a road game on Thursday, Sept. 2, against Minnesota. From there, OSU hosts No. 11 Oregon the following Saturday in one of the biggest non-conference games of the season.

Ohio State reached the College Football Playoff last season and knocked off Clemson 49-28 in the semifinals. However, OSU lost to Alabama 52-24 in the national championship game.

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