C.J. Stroud, former Ohio State quarterback and rising star in the NFL, is giving back to his alma mater in a significant way. The Foundation, an NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) collective associated with Ohio State athletics and co-founded by ex-Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones, announced on Monday that Stroud has joined its Founders Club as a Platinum Donor, marking a substantial contribution to the university.
Platinum Donors, as defined by The Foundation’s website, are individuals who have pledged in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. Stroud’s commitment not only places him among the elite contributors but also makes him the first former student-athlete to become a major donor for The Foundation.
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The perks of being a Platinum Donor likely come with various extra benefits that Stroud, as an alum and a prominent figure in Ohio State football history, may already enjoy. These privileges include exclusive meet-and-greets with Ohio State players, pre-game field passes for home games, and a private tour of Ohio State’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities.
Stroud’s generous contribution aligns with Ohio State’s recent success on the recruiting trail, particularly in the competitive landscape of the transfer portal. The Buckeyes have secured commitments from top-ranked players at their respective positions, such as quarterback Julian Sayin (Alabama), safety Caleb Downs (Alabama), and running back Quinshon Judkins (Ole Miss).
Additionally, Ohio State has retained key players, including potential first-round cornerback Denzel Burke and star running back TreVeyon Henderson, as they aim to surpass Michigan and reclaim the Big Ten crown. The potential departure of Michigan’s head coach Jim Harbaugh to the NFL adds an intriguing dynamic to the Big Ten rivalry.
Stroud’s impact on Ohio State football was notable during his time as the starting quarterback from 2021-22. Taking over from former first-round pick Justin Fields, Stroud amassed 8,123 passing yards and 85 touchdowns. He guided the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff in 2022, showcasing his leadership on the field.
The quarterback’s accomplishments didn’t end there, as he transitioned to the NFL with the Houston Texans. Selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Stroud had a remarkable rookie season. He led the Texans to their first AFC South division title and NFL Playoff appearance since 2019, throwing for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns with just five interceptions. Stroud emerged as a strong contender for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
C.J. Stroud’s commitment to The Foundation reflects not only his gratitude towards Ohio State but also his dedication to supporting the next generation of student-athletes. As he continues to shine in the NFL, Stroud’s impact off the field is a testament to the lasting connection between players and their alma maters.