Ohio State officially revealed its six captains for the 2022 season last week. To not much of a surprise, C.J. Stroud wound up not only being named a captain for the campaign but was also the leading vote-getter by his teammates.
Heading into the season, Stroud is not planning on changing up his leadership approach both on and off the field after being named a team captain. As he touched on during a press conference on Thursday, he is simply looking to continue to be himself.
“I’m going to approach it how I have been since I’ve been here,” Stroud said. “I always feel like by God’s grace I was a natural born leader and He blessed me with that ability. I feel like I can relate to a lot of people in different situations, so that’s what I’m going to keep doing.
“I’ll keep being myself, unapologetically me, and understanding that my role and responsibility at Ohio State is to be the captain of the team and be a leader.”
Ohio State enters the upcoming campaign with sky-high expectations following a 2021 season where it failed to defeat Michigan and did not clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time in the Ryan Day era.
As anticipation is growing for Stroud to lead the Buckeyes to a bounce-back year, he sees that his team is “tough to beat.”
“I want us to be us,” Stroud said. “I don’t have anything to prove to anybody, we don’t have to prove anything to anybody. At the end of the day it’s about Ohio State. It’s not about anybody else. That’s just how I feel. If Ohio State shows up as Ohio State, I think we’re tough to beat.”
Stroud will have to rely on multiple players on the offensive side of the ball to step up in the coming season, especially after Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson decided to take their talents to the NFL. Stroud, a Heisman Trophy finalist last year, is slated to call upon Jaxon Smith-Njigba to be his top wideout option, while Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming are projected to receive a fair share of targets on offense.
Ohio State will kick off its 2022 season with a non-conference showdown against Notre Dame next month.