CJ Stroud said he took it personally when Ohio State brought in now-Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers as a five-star recruit in 2021.
The personal motivational tactics of elite athletes really know no limit, whether we’re talking Bryce Young truly believing he’s been doubted his whole life or Georgia football players buying the idea that the country thought they’d struggle to win seven games in 2022.
If a chip can be found, athletes have a way of sniffing it out. Add CJ Stroud to those examples.
In an interview with The Shop co-hosts Maverick Carter and Paul Rivera, Stroud revealed his feelings on Ohio State adding highly-touted recruit Quinn Ewers. In a giant misread of how college football recruiting works, Stroud said he felt “disrespected.”
“I have that dog in me just because I know I’ve been counted out multiple times,” Stroud said, H/T Eleven Warriors. “They brought in a guy two weeks before our first game, and I thought I was the guy. That shows you, man, it’s a business. Now I’m doing it for myself. I know the business that I am in is, in a sense, cutthroat.”
CJ Stroud’s take on Quinn Ewers at Ohio State is a stretch
Here’s the thing: Stroud was not counted out as the Ohio State starting quarterback going into 2021. Not even close. He was the guy, had been since he signed, and everything signaled by the Buckeyes and head coach Ryan Day expressed that belief.
The now-Texans QB went on to tell the guys about the situation leading up to his first year as a starter in 2021.
Stroud joined the Buckeyes as a four-star, Top 50 recruit in the class of 2020. He played understudy to Justin Fields that year before going into the 2021 season in competition with Kyle McCord and Jack Miller to take over as the starter.
By the time August rolled around, it looked like Stroud would win the competition, as expected.
“The next year, they brought somebody else in,” Stroud said. “Quinn Ewers, the Texas quarterback, who was the No. 1 player I think ever ranked in high school. They brought him in like a week into fall camp, which is training camp for us, and I kind of felt disrespected. I didn’t like that.”
That’s just a wild read of the situation.
Yeah, Ewers was the No. 1 guy in the class, but he was supposed to go to college in the class of 2022 with timing that probably would have mirrored the same timeline Stroud was on to replace Fields. But Ewers wanted to take advantage of NIL opportunities in college and he reclassified to join the Buckeyes a year ahead of schedule. Was Ohio State supposed to tell him he couldn’t come?
Despite some fans being delusional enough to call for Ewers to replace Stroud during the season, Day was consistent with his messaging that Ewers wasn’t close to playing. The fact that Ewers went on to transfer to Texas after the season was over further backs up that stance.
But hey, if it works to motivate success, keep those chips coming.