Day names C.J. Stroud starter at QB for No. 4 Buckeyes

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Freshman C.J. Stroud will start at quarterback for No. 4 Ohio State in the season opener against Minnesota, coach Ryan Day said Saturday.

Stroud, who had been the apparent leader in the quarterback derby since spring practice, was chosen over fellow second-year player Jack Miller and true freshmen Kyle McCord and Quinn Ewers.

”Over the body of work between the spring and then also through preseason, (Stroud) separated himself with his decision-making, his leadership skills, his accuracy,” Day said. ”Now, we got to go prepare to go play a game.”

Day wouldn’t say who would be next in line.

”The other guys in the room understand that this is a long season and that room has to be strong,” he said. ”We know at Ohio State that it takes everybody in that room, so that room needs to continue to work. It’s a long way to January and that’s been the message. The focus has to continue to be about development, but also to encourage the other guys in that room.”

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Stroud, from Rancho Cucamonga, California, played sparingly in mop-up duty last year behind Heisman-finalist Justin Fields in the pandemic-shortened season. He has yet to throw a pass in a college game.

”I think he knows that this is just an opportunity,” Day said. ”It’s not an accomplishment, it’s an opportunity, and I think he looked at it like that. Now we got to go about the business of going to put it on the field.”

Ohio State also named captains this week. They include receivers Chris Olave and Kamryn Babb, offensive lineman Thayer Munford, defensive linemen Haskell Garrett, and Zach Harrison and linebacker Teradja Mitchell. All are first-time captains.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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