Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is a preseason Heisman favorite as he comes off a stellar sophomore campaign in 2021.
There's not much Stroud can improve when it comes to on-field talent, but the young signal caller has reportedly taken a step up in one other significant category.
College football analyst Kirk Herbstreit believes Stroud has made "big steps" toward becoming an outspoken team leader this coming season.
Herbstreit played quarterback for the Buckeyes and has close ties to the program.
“C.J. Stroud, from talking to Ryan Day, one area as a first-year starter he wasn’t necessarily a demonstrative leader," Herbstreit said on SportsCenter Thursday, per 247Sports. "I think now, in this offseason and over the summer, they’ve really seen him take big steps in that area, which I think is an important part of his development.”
Through 12 games in his first season as a full-time starter, Stroud logged 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns and six interceptions on a 71.9 completion percentage. He certainly has the elite production to go along with these newfound leadership skills.
Stroud and the Buckeyes will kickoff their 2022 season with a marquee home matchup against Notre Dame on September 3. Herbstreit and the College GameDay crew will be in Columbus for this contest.
Stroud is a projected first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.