HOUSTON — Since the common draft era in 1967, 817 quarterbacks have been selected. One hundred and eight of them made the Pro Bowl.

Some come from traditional powers like Notre Dame and Michigan, and others come from schools like North Dakota State and Wyoming.

But perennial power Ohio State has the second-most wins in college football history and has yet to have a quarterback become a Pro Bowler.

But during the rookie’s first nine games CJ Stroudthe race of Houston TexansHe’s building a case to become the first Buckeye signal caller to do so, and maybe even compete for MVP.

Stroud leads the league in passing yards per game (291.8) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (15 to 2), and his 15 touchdowns are four behind the leaders. jose alen and Tua Tagovailoa. He also broke the record for most pass attempts to start a career without an interception (186).

On Sunday, the Texans broke the Cincinnati Bengals‘ of four straight wins with a 30-27 victory, as Stroud led a winning drive for the second straight week and became the third rookie to throw for 350 yards: Cam Newton (2011) and Andrew Luck (2012) are the others . — with 356 passing yards.

That came a week after Stroud set the single-season record for most passing yards (470) by a rookie in a 39-37 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His 826 passing yards in his last two games are the second-most by an NFL rookie in a two-game span, trailing only Newton’s 854 yards in 2011.

Stroud is a big reason the Texans are 5-4, the latest in a season in which they have been above .500 since late 2019. Houston has a 58.4% chance of making it to the playoffs, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, then entering the season at 15%.

Stroud is aware of the narrative around Ohio State’s quarterbacks, but it doesn’t bother him and wants to dispel any doubts.

“There have been stories written about Ohio State quarterbacks that aren’t necessarily true, and to me, that’s fine,” Stroud said. “My job is to go out and prove that that’s wrong and try to prove that we’re preparing the right way at Ohio State.”

THE STATE OF OHIO HAS He had 14 quarterbacks selected in the common draft era, and four were in the first round: Art Schlichter (No. 4, 1982), the late Dwayne Haskins (No. 15, 2019), Justin Fields (No. 11, 2021) and Stroud.

There have been later-round picks like Cardale Jones and Troy Smith, who had decorated college careers but had few opportunities in the NFL.

There’s also joe burrow — the No. 1 pick in 2020. Burrow redshirted at Ohio State in 2015, played in five games as JT Barrett’s backup in 2016 and then broke a bone in his throwing hand before the start of the 2017 season. The following spring, he battled Haskins for the starting job, and Haskins won.

In May 2018, Burrow transferred to LSU, where he led an undefeated Tigers team to a national championship in the 2019 season, but because he moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the NFL, he is not considered a draft pick. of the OSU draft.

The only Ohio State player to have started more than 40 games in the NFL is Mike Tomczak, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the chicago bears in 1985 and started 73 games for the Bears, Green Bay Packers, cleveland browns and Pittsburgh Steelers in 15 seasons.

Overall, Ohio State quarterbacks in the NFL have a record of 91-128-1, and Fields, who has a career record of 7-26, is the only other active starter.

Texans coach DeMeco Ryans didn’t let history or narrative influence him in evaluating Stroud before April’s draft, when they selected him with the second overall pick.

“Every player is different… You have quarterbacks that come from all over. It’s not just one school,” Ryans told ESPN. “They talked about Alabama quarterbacks for a long time, and now it’s like one comes out every year.

“It’s more about that player and that person than it is about identifying a school.”

Jones, who played one game in the NFL, was selected in the fourth round of the draft by buffalo bills in 2016 after helping Ohio State win a national championship in 2014. He believes Ohio State’s quarterbacks should not be grouped together.

“A lot of factors go into whether a guy is successful at the next level,” Jones told ESPN. “I can go on and on about situations and scenarios where I would argue that guys wouldn’t be those guys without being in the right situations. Russell Wilson He’s one of my favorite quarterbacks of all time. But when you look at a guy like Russ, [he] He came into the league at the perfect time and in the perfect situation in Seattle. He beat out two veteran quarterbacks in his rookie year because that system fit him better.”

Smith won the Heisman in 2006 and was drafted in the fifth round by the The Baltimore Ravens in 2007. He was 1-1 as a rookie when starting the last two games and was 4-4 in his four-year career after going 3-3 with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. He finished his career passing for 1,734 and eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

Smith does not believe he was ready for the NFL because of the way Ohio State ran its offense under coach Jim Tressel and how often he threw the ball, as Smith was eighth in touchdown passes in his Heisman year ( 30), compared to joining the Ravens. who ranked 11th in rushing attempts per game in 2007 (27.9).

“[Ohio State] No [prepare me] because back then we were setting trends. We went out and threw the ball all over the field,” Smith told ESPN. “When I got to the NFL with Baltimore, it was more of a run-first team.”

In 2008, the Ravens intended to start Smith and sit him Joe Skinny for his rookie season, but after Smith suffered a severe case of tonsillitis midway through the preseason and Kyle Boller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, Flacco began the regular season and did not miss a game during the remainder of Smith’s term.

Despite his opinion of his development when he left Columbus, Ohio, for the NFL, he believed things were different for Stroud.

“[Stroud’s] The preparation is top notch. He’s the elite in the league,” Smith said. “I see a quarterback that no matter what the situation is, [it’s not] scary, threatening or big for him. It’s almost like he’s been there before.”

From an NFL evaluator’s perspective, scouts have taken different approaches to how they view Buckeye quarterbacks, but know that every individual and every situation is different.

“People blame Ohio State, but the truth is, most college quarterbacks can’t process it well enough,” one NFL scout told ESPN. “[Ohio State quarterbacks] It turns out that there are Heisman candidates most years. The truth is, if you can process it, you can play in the league. The guys before Stroud had no problems because of Ohio State.”

OHIO STATE COACH Ryan Day, who guided Stroud (2020 to 2022), was the quarterbacks coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 and for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 before joining Ohio State in 2017 as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The NFL taught Day pro concepts that he incorporated into Ohio State’s offense. Day was named interim head coach in 2018 for the Buckeyes’ first three games (where they finished 3-0) when Urban Meyer was placed on administrative leave. He took over the program after the Rose Bowl that season.

“When I came in seven years ago to coach quarterbacks, I wanted it to be the best position in America,” Day told ESPN. “We worked hard to teach the guys protections, defensive structures and route structures and teach them like they were in the NFL.”

In two seasons as a starter at Ohio State, Stroud finished with 8,123 passing yards and 85 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions. Although the Buckeyes fell in the College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Eve, Stroud threw for 348 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 42-41 loss to Georgia that came down to the final minute in his final college game.

“CJ has a knack for seeing the field,” Day said. “He has a great sense of the pocket when it’s breaking. He didn’t have a great offensive line when he was in high school. So he had to improvise or figure it out and adapt. And he did. “He’s very smart and he’s extremely accurate.” .

Stroud’s development is part of why the Texans (5-4) are just one game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South with the Arizona Cardinals (2-8) is coming to town on Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS).

“I was well prepared coming from Ohio State,” Stroud said. “It’s a special place. “I feel like Ohio State is a mini NFL team: the attention we get, the fan base we have, all the criticism we get, things like that. “It definitely helped me a lot.”

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